The CRRC is working to digitally capture and catalog their expansive collection of local and regional historical railroad artifacts.
This effort will make the collection available to a global audience, and ultimately prepare the most fragile items for proper stewardship and conservation.
Additionally, a large portion of the artifacts would then be available for digital reproduction, the revenues from which could be used to provide for the costs associated with proper storage and preservation of the original artifacts.
Cincinnati Railroad Club & The Project
Cincinnati Railroad Club was formed (in large part) to ride trains as a group. Through the Southern Railway Steam Program of excursions for the general public, the Club served a wide audience – creating strong relationships – some resulting in the donation of personal collections of railroadiana. CRRC gladly accepted, but wasn’t really prepared to manage what has become a collection of over 70,000 artifacts.
The extensive collection now ranges from personal mementos and photos to the records for Cincinnati Union Terminal Company, including competing proposed plans for the station, original blueprints, & construction negatives and photos. It also comprises the complete photo roster of B&O locomotive power, and records for all seven railroads in Cincinnati dating back to the 1850s.
The negatives, photos, blueprints, timetables, maps, corporate records, and railroadiana tell the story of railroad development on the Western Frontier – and how a city, an industry and a nation all grew together. Most of the collection has never been seen, stored offsite in relative disarray. It’s not an uncommon situation; nearly every railfan group with a collection has more than they can physically display.
CRRC has hired professionals with the expertise to make high-resolution scans, catalogue items, prepare them for archival storage, and build a searchable database. The best way CRRC can honor donors’ gifts of their most precious possessions is to make their collections globally available online to interested historians and researchers, architects, art lovers, railfans and people interested in the history of Cincinnati and the connections forged here through the railroad.
It’s easy to get involved. Please continue around this site – everything you need to get started is here. All aboard!