|Books and Periodicals|
The Library's collection of published materials totals over 10,000 books and reports. The Library is a member of OCLC, a national online bibliographic database. Popular titles and reference books are available for research in the reading room. Additional books are housed in the Library stacks; some titles are stored off-site.
Imprints date from the 1830s to contemporary publications. The collection includes popular titles about railroading and rail travel, corporate histories, regional surveys, engineering and technological treatises, pictorial accounts of a single railroad or a geographic area, and how-to volumes for modelers. The Edwina Coffing Western Americana Collection contains basic texts and bibliographies pertaining to California and U.S. history.
Specialized reference works provide information for historical, equipment and genealogical research. Henry V. Poor's Manual of the Railroads of the United States, issued annually from 1868, and Moody's various railroad manuals, issued annually from 1900, provide summary histories of North American railroads. Train, route and schedule information can be traced in The Official Guide of the Railways, published monthly since 1868 and containing the passenger schedules of over 700 North American railroads.
The photographs, diagrams, specifications, glossaries and descriptive text published in the Car Builders' Dictionary and Cyclopedia and the Locomotive Dictionary and Cyclopedia provide a wealth of mechanical information. The library has a complete set of both series, issued on an irregular basis since the late 1800s. The Official Railway Equipment Register published monthly beginning in 1885 and quarterly since 1937, lists in tabular form details of car ownership, marking and numbers, and dimensions and capacity for North American railroads.
The Biographical Directory of Railway Officials of America (issued irregularly between 1885 and 1922), Who's Who in Railroading in North America (issued irregularly between 1930 and 1968) and the current Who's Who in Railroading and Rail Transit provide basic career and biographical details for upper-level management personnel. The Pocket List of Railroad Officials has since 1895 provided concise listings of railroad management as well as railroad-related manufacturing companies.
Over 800 titles are represented in the periodical collection. Popular railroading and hobby magazines are available for review as are publications from regional fan groups and railroad historical associations. Industry publications trace railroad practice. The Library also collects employee magazines issued by railroad unions and the major Western railroads. Patrons can use the Library's set of the Engineering Index (1892-1984) to locate periodical articles relating to the railroad industry and technology.
Other serial publications include corporate annual reports and the proceedings of railroad-related professional organizations such as the Master Car Builders' Association and the American Railway Engineering Association.
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