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Southern Pacific Railroad Company records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Related Collections
  • Scope and Content
  • Historical Note
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Conditions Governing Access

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Southern Pacific Railroad Company Records
    Identifier/Call Number: M1010
    Physical Description: 2829 Linear Feet
    Date (inclusive): 1895-1991
    Abstract: This collection comprises the Board Minutes of the Southern Pacific Railroad and its subsidiaries, Mechanical Department plans and specifications of the rolling stock of the Southern Pacific and its subsidiaries, the Valuation Department records documenting financial transactions and value of the rolling stock of the company.

    Related Collections

    Stanford holds many related collections, including papers related to Leland Stanford, the Pacific Improvement Company, and others.
    Southern Pacific Railroad Co. Drawings and maps, ca. 1930-1968 (Mss Prints 0007) http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/ft1m3n992b
    Southern Pacific Transportation Co. Records, 1936-1954 (JL015) http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf700005kd
    Southern Pacific Company public relations collection, 1900, 1959-1972 (M1898) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/9619548
    Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corp. Records (M0015) http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf8v19p03r
    Hopkins transportation collection, 1711-1959 (M0175) http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf3870032v
    Timothy Hopkins transportation collection, 1816-1942 (M0097) http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf4489n75w

    Scope and Content

    Contains board minutes, ledgers, engineering report books, mechanical car books, maps, mechanical specifications, valuation maps, leases, and cash receipts for the Southern Pacific Company and more than 500 other companies acquired by the Southern Pacific Company between 1895 and 1991.

    Historical Note

    The Southern Pacific Railroad was founded in 1865 and was purchased in 1869 by Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker and Mark Hopkins, better known as the Big Four. It was the first railroad to connect Los Angeles to the rest of California and its lines extended as far as New Orleans. In 1901, the Union Pacific Railroad bought 38% of Southern Pacific stock and took control of the company, but the Union Pacific was ultimately forced to divest these shares in 1912 by the U.S. Supreme Court in an anti-trust case. During World War II, the Southern Pacific Co. played a major role in military transportation in the US, transporting personal, and equipment along the west coast. In 1983, Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads announced their intentions to merge and organize company into the Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corporation, but the merger was rejected in 1987. In 1996, the Union Pacific acquired Southern Pacific, making Union Pacific the largest railroad in the United States.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Union Pacific Railroad, 1998.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Southern Pacific Railroad Company Records, M1010, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Conditions Governing Use

    While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.

    Conditions Governing Access

    A portion of the Mechanical Division drawings are stored off-site; access to these materials may require as much as two weeks. All other materials described in this finding aid are available for use without restriction.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Railroads -- United States.
    Business records.
    Southern Pacific Transportation Company
    Central Pacific Railroad Company
    Southern Pacific Company