This page includes links to and information about other custodians of PRR (Pennsylvania Railroad Company) records.
The largest group of surviving PRR records was distributed during the Penn Central Records Project of 1984-1986, a federally funded effort involving eight major repositories. A team of archivists methodically examined contents of the main PRR records storage warehouse on Merion Avenue in West Philadelphia, and the most historically significant files were divided among the participants. More than 400,000 linear feet of records were examined, of which between 8,000 and 10,000 were distributed. About 80 percent of these records were generated by PRR. A final sweep was conducted in the last weeks of Conrail occupancy in 1992, and a fire in 1995 destroyed the main buildings there. In addition, the project participants examined and obtained former PRR, New York Central, and New Haven records from a separate facility in Philadelphia maintained by the Penn Central Corp. Records were distributed to the following project participants.
Pennsylvania State Archives
Presidential Files (1899-1968)
Files of the secretary and treasurer
All minutes of PRR and accompanying board files and papers (1847-1960)
Minutes and board files of PRR predecessor and subsidiary companies in eastern and central Pennsylvania, including Northern Central, Cumberland Valley, Philadelphia & Erie, Schuylkill & Juniata, Pennsylvania Canal Co., real estate companies, Empire Transportation Company and Anchor Line
Records of of Special Services Department
Records of Legal Department concerning general matters and ICC rate applications
Association of Freight Traffic Officers records
Duplicates of some records of Association of Transport Officers
Public timetable (1928-1964)
Records of general manager - Eastern Region (fragmentary)
Microfilm masters of minutes and board files (1942)
Account Books (1942, 1951)
microfilm of track and property atlases (incomplete)
microfilm of equipment drawings (incomplete)
microfilm of personnel service record cards for some Eastern Region employees (ca. 1950)
Microfilm master of J. Elfreth Watkins history
Printed annual reports
annual reports to ICC
Equipment registers (mostly cars - locomotive registers had been systematically removed)
Earlier, the State Archives also received portions of the PRR library and historical collection purchased at the Penn Central Auction in 1972
Equipment working drawings
Some engineering maps
A large group of Voluntary Relief Fund service record cards
selection of publicity photos
Pennsylvania Board of Canal Commissioners
Operators of state railroad and canal system purchased by PRR in 1857
South Pennsylvania Railroad and Pennsylvania Turnpike records
Records of Lehigh Valley Railroad (once controlled by PRR)
General manager - Western Region (including locality files)
Motive Power Department (1905-1948)
Test department (1905-1937)
Engineering department (1883-1968)
Files on intermodal (PRR's "TrucTrain" or trailer-on-flat-car) service (1954-68)
Legal department files on labor and technology
Complete set of track charts and employee timetables (1937)
Samples of public timetables (1928-64)
Duplicate set of PRR minutes (1847-60)
Duplicate microfilm set of board files (1857-1951)
Minutes, board papers and account books of predecessor and subsidiary companies south of Philadelphia and West of Pittsburgh, truck and bus companies, including:
Baltimore & Washington
Washington Terminal Co.
Fort Wayne & Chicago
Chicago & St. Louis
records of Lines West organization (1890s-1920), particularly concerning later Western Region territory
Copy microfilms of minutes and board papers of major subsidiaries, including Camden & Amboy, North Central, etc.
Hagley later received from Penn Central Corp. the Mechanical and Test Department negatives that had originally been placed at the Altoona Area Public Library. It also received from Conrail a collection of photos and films from its public relations files.
In addition, Hagley has in its general collections most of the published works dealing with the PRR, prospectuses and annual reports from most companies in the PRR system and copies of The Mutual Magazine and The Pennsy.
Hagley also holds PRR-related material:
Reading Co. records, including P-RSL, and Central Railroad of New Jersey, including New York & Long Branch
W.W. Atterbury personal papers
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority records
William Hasell Wilson diary (microfilm)
John B. Jervis papers (PFtW&C)(microfilm)
Railroad annual reports from U.S. and other countries, many from PRR library
The museum acquired Middle Division Mechanical Department and Real Estate records from the late 1870s to the mid-1950s, which had been stored in the former PRR Master Mechanics Building. This includes 800 linear feet of documents and 2,000 rolled prints relating to plans for structures, equipment, and right-of-way. No public access exists yet, although limited pieces are available.
A general (but not detailed) catalog of the items exists.
The museum has a selected group of books and technical information that had come from the PRR mechanics' library in Altoona.
Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society (website)
The society maintains an archive at the former PRR station in Lewistown, PA.
In addition to materials received from members, the society has a large body of records taken from the Pittsburgh station. These include:
microfilm of Mechanical Engineering Department drawings for locomotives and freight cars (late 19th century to 1950)
Correspondence files 1940-1968 regarding locomotives and freight cars
PRR valuation maps
Other maps showing proposed line changes
Lines West plans
Some employees timetables
Complete set of The Keystone, PRRT&HS quarterly magazine, 1968-present
Scattered copies of The Pennsy magazine and Railway Age
Official Lines West glass-plate photographic negatives and the negative collection of T. Martin Flattley Jr. (1915-1988)
The museum is built around the official PRR historical collection of locomotives and freight and passenger cars formerly stored at Northumberland, PA. It also has one of the largest collections of PRR publications, including a complete set of annual reports
Memorabilia and ephemera such as timetables and dining-car menus
Some archival records
Museum houses 16 boxes (eight linear feet) of photographic prints of PRR subject, and boxes occupying 12 linear feet with more than 2,500 negatives of PRR subjects