We now have a web site for our archive materials! When people want to learn something about anything, they increasingly turn to the internet. Having a web site for our archive is an important way for us to make the history of the Milwaukee Road more accessible for people to discover. While our focus is on the history of the railroad in Washington, the scope of our collections also includes materials related to the Pacific Coast Extension as well as material pertaining to the entire railroad.
On our web site you’ll find information about the material in our collections, including digital copies of selected items, along with information compiled to aid researchers. The site will be developing over time, but some highlights of the material currently on the site include George Werkema’s slide collection (starting with the freight car slides), photos from former Milwaukee Road locomotive engineer R.J. Jones, digitized dispatcher train sheets documenting Milwaukee Road train operations in Washington, and photographs from Aaron Schwarz of Interstate Commerce Commission documents located in the National Archives.
Our site is hosted by Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive (PNRA), where we are a member organization, and it uses the same software as the GN-NP Joint Archive site used by fellow PNRA member organizations.
While we’ve been developing our web site, we’ve also been busy moving more of our collections to our space in the PNRA facility in Burien, WA and working to organize the materials. Our ability to digitize material received a boost this summer when PNRA received a grant to purchase a large format scanner and a transparency (slide/negative) scanner.
We’re excited by our progress in developing our archive program. Our limiting factor in improving access to our collections is now volunteers. With more volunteers at PNRA in Burien, we can speed up the process of organizing and digitizing our materials. And now that we have our web site up, we’ll probably have some opportunities for people to assist online. Contact Paul Krueger if you’d like to help.