Working at the Archive – September 19

This week Fred High and I spent most of the evening continuing to repack unprocessed material from odd size boxes into standard size storage boxes.  Our focus this time was on the last few unprocessed boxes of the extensive Doug Nighswonger collection.  Much of the Nighswonger Collection is Traffic Department records spanning from the late 1920s to the early 1940s.   These were records were saved from the Tacoma office.


One box we repacked contained reader files.  A reader file is a collection of copies of outgoing correspondence that was circulated among managers. The example below is reader file 26 from early in March 1931, containing correspondence generated by the Division Freight and Passenger Agent (DF&PA).  If you open the file, you’ll see examples of the types of correspondence sent by the DF&PA.  Note in particular the weekly traffic letter, which is cautiously optimistic that business levels will soon return to normal.  If only they knew!  The Nighswonger Collection has several boxes of reader files like this.


Click the image to see the full PDF of this reader file.


Our Thursday sessions usually meet on the first and third Thursdays each month.  The next Thursday session will be September 5.  Please let us know if you’d like to join us at Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive in Burien, WA. (click here to contact us) A group also meets at the Archive every Wednesday from 10 am to 4 pm and a daytime Saturday group should be starting soon.  There is plenty to do, so come join us!

Paul Krueger


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