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 Post subject: Modern Employee Timetables Available For Museums/Archives
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:11 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8399
Location: Baltimore, MD
And now the reason we were asking about any RR employee TT collection archive.....

This past weekend, a joint effort of the Baltimore Chapter NRHS and a member of the Illinois Railway Museum preserved as an intact lot the personal railroad history archive of the late James Larson of Manassas, Va., as well as a huge assortment of railroad employee timetables.

Although the Library and Archives of the California State RR Museum was the recipient of Larson's collection of reports, legal documents, and correspondence during his 25-year tenure with Amtrak, his massive personal collection of employee timetables went unclaimed, and languished in the basement of his home years after his 2008 passing. This collection filled over a dozen deep four-drawer file cabinets, arranged alphabetically left to right and oldest to newest vertically. It was claimed by the auction representatives that the collection had been offered to the CSRM, but they would not pay for shipping--understandable, as the collection, even reboxed, would have filled a good two shipping pallets to a height of several feet.

The Chapter was tipped off to the online auction of the house's contents by a Facebook follower. Baltimore Chapter officials conferred with one another, and made the decision that if the collection could not be preserved intact, at least an attempt could be made to save ETTs relevant to the Chapter's Maryland Rail Heritage Library. The Chapter lost the two lots of older ETTS, from 1940-mid 1970s, to two dealers, one of whom had come from New York State to collect his winnings, but successfully purchased two lots of about twenty-five file drawers full of more modern ETTs from the 1970s through 2000s. The two dealers, however, expressed a sincere willingness to work with the Chapter to trade or offer selected inventory for archival preservation--but both said "I have to see just what all I have here first!" The depth of the collection overwhelmed all three successful bidders. It was discovered that occasional stray bits of other ephemera, such as train orders, publicity booklets and photographs, and excursion route guides, were occasionally mixed in with some of the folders, and numerous duplicate editions were also observed.

The most preliminary analysis of the ETT collection reveals a number of duplicate items, plus thousands of items beyond the mission statement of the Md. Rail Heritage Library (which has over the years kept selective representative examples of ETTs from railroads outside the Northeast, but lacks the room to keep everything).

The Baltimore Chapter is willing and eager to share its ETT bounty, at approximate estimated shared cost of the materials plus shipping, with appropriate rail history archives, such as a regional or state rail museum, a society focusing on a specific railroad, or an academic/history library with appropriate collections. This offer extends to bona fide rail history non-profit organizations only. The Chapter has been in informal contact with officers of several such institutions to identify appropriate archives and seek out donors willing to buy any said selections for donation, and a few tentative offers have been made by private individuals for re-donation to such archives. It is estimated that, for most of the collection screened thus far, the cost of shipping by Media Mail or UPS will exceed the “fair share” cost of the ETTs themselves. An example: a typical U.S. Mail Priority Mail Flat Rate box could be filled for about $5 plus the cost of shipping, and of course Media Mail is also an option in similar-sized Amazon/etc. shipping boxes.

If your organization is interested in any of the ETTs for their collection, please respond to this author's personal e-mail link below, with organization represented and railroads/areas of interest included. Inquiries should be considered to be "expressions of interest;" no guarantee of response or offer is implied. Or contact the Chapter directly through the Chapter's website contact page at https://www.baltimorenrhs.org/contact-us/ . DO NOT reply to this post with your own appeals and requests.


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