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Mike Rabbitt collection

Identifier: IAL-2020-002

Scope and Contents

The majority of this collection is the drawings drawn by Mike Rabbitt for use by modelers.


  • Majority of material found within 1975 - 2015


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research, but is not currently fully processed.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is fully available for use.

Biographical / Historical

The Mike Rabbitt Collection of Steel and Railroad Materials largely comes from Mike Rabbitt's avocation as a steel mill modeler, for which he was well known. As a teenager, he built his first model of a blast furnace, based on prints from either Koppers or McKee company. This model was featured in Model Railroader Magazine, which sparked interest from notable modelers including Dean Freytag. Within a decade, Rabbitt's prints were being advertised in Model Railroader and his works were published elsewhere, including Dean Freytag's "The History, Making and Modeling of Steel," Nevin Yakel's "Bethlehem Steel Railroading," and Bob Wilt's "Bethlehem Steel Co. Railroad Operations."

Mike additionally collaborated with John Glaab, having met in the 1990s. Together, they collaborated on the inaugural meeting of the Steel Mill Modelers in 2004. Mike became a founding board member of the Steel Mill Modeler's Special Interest Group at its formation in 2013.

Mike's encyclopedic knowledge and drawings benefited modelers across the globe. In addition to Dean Freytag, Ken McCorry, Jim Kerner, Glenn Sonnier, Vince Altiere, and Rob Arthur all utilized Rabbitt's drawings. Rabbitt's own models were notable as well. His sintering plant model won the Dean Freytag Award in 2011.

His models were ultimately donated to the St. Albans railroad Club located in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, with his extensive archival collection of drawings and other ephemera going to the Industrial Archives & Library in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


30 Cubic Feet (Largely made up of telescoping multiple-roll boxes. Processing continues.)

Language of Materials



A second collection, IAL2020.006, of Mike Rabbit's materials was collected by the Industrial Archives & Library from Mike Rabbitt's estate after his death. While some of the materials are related, this second collection is more broad, including personal and work materials, in addition to his modeling.

Separated Materials

Library materials were separated at the time of accession and cataloged in IAL's library system.

Processing Information

Many of Rabbitt's drawings were used by railroad and steel modelers, which have varying scales. Where clear, the scale is marked in a Notes field for each archival object.

Processing was done on site by Eric Craig and Jim Kerner, who were friends of and fellow modelers with Mike Rabbitt. Collections staff, including Melissa Nerino, imported materials into ArchivesSpace.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Industrial Archives & Library Repository

18 West 4th Street
Bethlehem Pennsylvania 18015 USA