C&O Historical Society Archives:
The C&O Historical Society's archives consists of a collection of documents, files, publications, original and copy drawings, photographic images of all types, passes, timetables, annual reports, corporate records, and other artifacts and materials that pertain to the history of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway and its predecessors and successors, and railways and locale associated with the C&O.
The bulk of the collection was donated to the Society by Chessie System and CSX Corporation between 1982 ad 1999. These are materials that were in the official files of the company that pertain to the former C&O and were no longer needed by CSX for current operations. These collections consist primarily of original ink-on-linen drawings from the Chief Engineer's Office and from the Chief Mechanical Officer's Office, as well as the Office of the Signal Engineer, and Bridge Department. Additionally, a large collection of letter files pertaining to engineering projects carried on by C&O from about 1930 to about 1960 (but sometimes having earlier materials included), is included.
The Chessie System Public Relations Department contributed numerous materials when it was disestablished and merged into CSX. These materials consist of advertising records, copies of brochures, timetables, and other publicity items as well as some files pertinent to this department.
The CSX Corporate Secretary placed on deposit in the archives a large collection that consists of the corporate records (mainly minute books) of 139 separate corporations that were predecessors to the C&O. Most of these were predecessors to the Pere Marquette Railway, which itself was merged into C&O in June 1947. The Corporate Secretary lists the C&OHS archives as one of two off-site depositories of CSX Corporate Records, the B&O Railroad Museum archives being the second.
The C&OHS archives also contains a library of publications that comprise C&O, Hocking Valley, and Pere Marquette magazines and other publications. This library includes numerous books that pertain to C&O and to all the railroads of America. Included are large runs of periodicals including: Railway Age, The Engineer, Engineering, Poors and Moody's Manual of the Railways, The Official Guide of the Railways and Steam Navigation Lines of the United States, and The Official Railway Equipment Registers. These span the era 1881-1960.
A large collection of photographic images comprises the entire collection made by and for the C&O Publicity Department 1930-1990 (including Chessie System and CSX). The second part of the photo image collection comprises images collected by the Society from numerous sources including C&O (but not part of the official PR collection), and from railfan photographers.
Three groups of correspondence files are present consisting of the division office records from Clifton Forge, VA, Newport News, VA, Hinton, WV, and Saginaw, MI.
The archives contains very little that pertains to: personnel records, wreck and accident reports, train sheets, routine operations materials, and management matters.
Conserving, indexing, and storing for retrieval of the archives is an ongoing task, and volunteers play a large role in the success of this project. If you are interested in the C&O Railway or history in general, volunteering for an archives work session is an ideal way for you to help your Society and delve deeper into the Railway's history than you ever thought was possible.