B-16: Gregory Ames Collection of Children's Railroad Literature
History: From "The Little Engine that Could" to the "Polar Express" and beyond authors and illustrators of children's railroad books have sought to capture the sights, sounds, and meaning of railroad transportation and to share their fascination for trains with children. This collection provides representative coverage of the thematic and artistic range seen in children's railroad literature, a genre their collector describes as a cultural phenomenon in and of itself. Mr. Ames, Curator of the Barriger Library, donated this collection in 2006 and new titles are continually being added.
Scope: This collection of over three hundred children's picture books from the late nineteenth century to the present day includes both fiction and non-fiction titles. Some graded readers with significant railroad-related content are also included along with railroad-produced material for children. The collection includes selected young adult titles along with (for purposes of comparison) children's literature on other transportation modes.
Holdings: Over 300 children's picture books relating to railroads and transportation.
Access: Titles in Collection B-16 are individually cataloged and records for them can be found on Merlin online catalog. Books in the collection are shelved in the Mercantile Library Rare Book Vault. A list of titles in the collection (arranged by author) is available in the Mercantile Library Reference and Rare Book Reading Room.