Full-size drawings, especially those produced by manufacturers and architects, are the most desirable source for design details. Drawings come in many formats from the original ink-on-linen delineation to blue-line copies. Subjects include not only locomotives and cars but also bridges, boats, stations, turntables, roundhouses, water towers, motor cars, and a multitude of obscure but essential components.

Highlights include the collections of the Lima Locomotive Works (approximately 40,000 drawings), Southern Pacific Railroad (approximately 25,000 drawings from the Stockton Division and the Sacramento Division), Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (approximately 25,000 drawings), Pacific Fruit Express Company (unprocessed collection of drawings from the Mechanical and Engineering Department in Brisbane), the Whitcomb Locomotive Company and Sterling Engine Company (unprocessed collection of mechanical drawings), Risdon Iron & Locomotive Works (unprocessed collection of drawings of mining and industrial equipment), and the Western Pacific Railroad (unprocessed collection of freight car drawings).

Early California equipment builders are represented by examples from Carter Brothers, Golden State and Miners Iron Works, Union Iron Works and the Hall-Scott Motor Car Company. Some builder's specifications, which often include drawing numbers, are also part of the Library's drawing collections. The Library has microfilm copies of drawings produced by the Union Pacific Railroad as well as the Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railroads.

Catalogued drawings can be searched by corporate name, keyword, drawing number, or date.

Search the Technical Drawings online catalog.

There are special instructions for ordering reproductions from the Lima Locomotive Works Collection. See more information about the
Lima Locomotive Works Collection.

Search the Lima Locomotive Works Drawing Indexes online catalog.

Unless condition, size or other restrictions preclude reproduction, reference copies of drawings may be ordered. See
Reproduction Orders and Permissions.