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Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission transfer of railroading and other industry ephemera

Identifier: IAL-2019-004

Scope and Contents

The PHMC Transfer includes materials deaccessioned by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission in 2018 and 2019 and offered to other repositories. The staff of the Industrial Archives & Library perused these lists and chose materials relating to the mission of the organization. Some of the materials have no direct relation to each other, other than their source, the PHMC.

Of the 16 boxes in the collection 15 are railroad ephemera, particularly the Pennsylvania Railroad from the 1920s to 1960s. Boxes 1-12 include public timetables of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Boxes 13 and 14 include Pennsylvania Railroad schedules of mail routes, and box 15 additionally includes Pennsylvania Railroad employee timetables from 1937. Box 15 includes assorted other railroad materials, including promotional material and internal correspondence of the Pennsylvania Railroad from the 1940s-1960s.

The final box in the accession includes materials related to photographic processes, including 7 pamphlets.

The final piece is a custom blueboard folder made for a print newspaper, featuring a full-page colored print of the S.S. Normandie from 1938. The ship USS Normandie was capsized in 1942, but its foghorn was used as a fire alarm at Bethlehem Steel in the 1950s and 1960s.


  • Majority of material found within 1903 - 1961


6.75 Linear Feet (5 standard legal Hollinger boxes, 10 standard letter Hollinger boxes, 1 slim letter Hollinger box, and 1 custom blueboard frame)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Materials were obtained by the Industrial Archives & Library through a deaccession by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. The records were offered publicly in several batches in 2018 and 2019; materials were collected by the Industrial Archives & Library in April and October 2019.

Railroad materials were from the Pennsylvania State Archives, which deaccessioned them in two batches in 2018.

They include:

D2018.3 [From MG-286 Penn Central Railroad Collection], which included railroad public timetables, employee timetables, and schedules of mail routes.

D2018.4 [From MG-286 Penn Central Railroad Collection], which included annual reports from various railroad companies.

Stamps on timetables and other materials indicate that some materials deaccessioned by the State Archives had previously been located at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Many of the railroad items appear to have been from the Penn Central Railroad, a descedant of the Pennsylvania Railroad. These materials were donated to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, composing, in part, RR76.20. No other custodial history is known.

Other materials were deaccessioned from other PHMC sites.

D.FM-NC2017 - Materials deaccessioned by the Landis Valley Museum, included 7 photographic process pamphlets.

D.RR.76.20 - Materials deaccessioned by the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, which included print-newspaper of S.S. Normandie.

Separated Materials

Framed newspaper print of "S.S. Normandie" separated and placed in flat files.

Processing Information

Processing was completed by Melissa Nerino and David Hazel in October 2019. Finding aid was written by Melissa Nerino in October 2019.

Upon processing, 3 copies of exact materials were kept. Additional copies was deaccessioned.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Industrial Archives & Library Repository

18 West 4th Street
Bethlehem Pennsylvania 18015 USA