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HISTORY: The working library of noted railroad executive John W. Barriger III (1899-1976) was acquired in 1982, the generous donation of his family. Widely recognized as one of the twentieth century's best-known and most distinguished railroad executives, Mr. Barriger was also an avid scholar, book collector, and photographer. His collection of books, papers, photographs, and memorabilia - collected over an active career of 50 years - forms the nucleus of the Library's railroad collections, one of the largest rail transportation collections in the world.
SCOPE: John Barriger III's Manuscript Collection is arranged in nine series by type of document:
Series 1: Corporate Records, are arranged alphabetically by railroad name. A total of 376 railroads, holding companies, or government agencies are represented in the collection. The materials date from 1910 to 1976. The strongest concentration of materials date from the period of the Great Depression. Most of this documentation had its origin in various internal files of railroads, corporations, or agencies with which John Barriger III was associated. Series 1 includes:general descriptive material, documents on passenger service, mail and express service, freight service, operations, and motor and marine transport. Railroad maps and charts form an important part of the collection along with mechanical and engineering documents. Executive, managerial and financial documents (including corporate annual reports) are also well-represented.
Series 2-9:Additional Corporate Records; Foreign Nations and Railroads; Organizations; Topical Files; Personal and Business Correspondence; Working Papers; Articles; Speeches; and Reports.
In addition to the manuscript material above, John Barriger III's original book collection focuses strongly on railway economics, finance, corporate history, management practice, mergers, labor relations, operations, and engineering. Mr. Barriger's photograph collection covers over 200 railroads. Arranged by railroad name, many in folio-sized albums, this collection provides a detailed visual record of North American railroads, 1917-1970, with an emphasis on track, structures, yards and other facilities.Grants from the Union Pacific Corp. and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission funded a significant preservation project for the photo collections. Please note that the content varies for each railroad.
HOLDINGS: The manuscript collection is stored in 361 records boxes. The original John Barriger III book collection numbers 10,000 volumes and is now integrated into the general railroad collection. The photograph collection includes over 50,000 prints and negatives.
ACCESS: A published finding aid for Special Collection B-1 is available: A Guide to the John W. Barriger III Papers in the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, 1997(in two volumes: Series 1 and Series 2-9).Portions of the material may be photocopied, digitally scanned, or photographed, subject to condition.
Copies of A Guide to the John W. Barriger III Papers in the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, 1997 both volumes in one file is now available for download. (requires adobe acrobat)
In addition an online seachable database for the John W. Barriger III Papers has also been developed and is available at the link below. First time users are urged to read the instruction page before attempting a search on the database.
*Important* portions of this collection are housed in an off site location and therefore not available on demand. Patrons are urged to contact the library before their arrival. Contact information is provided below, or by calling 314-516-7247.