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 Post subject: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 2:29 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:38 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Hi everyone,
I plan to make a trip out to the archives this summer. Ive looked the website over thoroughly, but still have one question. On average, what does it cost per copy of drawings? I figure it probably depends on the size, but I would imagine there is a general average price per sheet. Also, is there an entrance fee to the archives?

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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 4:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
I encourage you to plan your trip with Nick's guidance and seek the answers you want from him personally. There could be variables involved than only those on staff there are able to condense into a good answer for you.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 7:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:00 am
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Location: Dallas ,Texas. USA
Its free to get in.

I reccomend that you set "expectaions" to "extremely low" for that day.

The only thing I would expect to happen on that day, is to get in.

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Our "paper" archives will be the future railfans only hope. We (yes you too!) should endeavor to preserve all the info needed to allow them 100% accuracy in the building of their recreations.


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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 9:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 987
That's a bit harsh, Loco 112. On the occasions I've need access to the archives, a note or call in advance to Nick or Dodie has been sufficient to have them ready to assist me each time I've been there.

Wayne Laepple


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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 10:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:38 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Hey loco112
Is there a reason that the first day is slow? Is it hard to find certain locomotives in their Baldwin drawings? I already have the Baldwin specs sheet with the order number and drawing numbers on it


Attachments:
baldwin specs.gif
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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 10:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8689
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Every professional librarian/archivist can tell you multitudes of stories about patrons with "high expectations"; there's even an online comic, "Unshelved," that highlights the mutual abuse and contempt librarians and patrons heap upon one another:
http://www.unshelved.com
(Possibly appropos to the discussion: http://www.unshelved.com/2014-4-21 and http://www.unshelved.com/2014-3-22 )

In short:
If you've done your homework, and you go to them saying "Your online listings say you have drawings for the BR&P station in Punxsutawney, Pa. from 1914, shelf 328, bin 7. How big, and how much to scan them as full-size or PDF?", you'll probably have a quite happy experience.

If you go to them and say "I'm looking for that two-part article on the Western Maryland Connellsville Extension in the May and June 1914 issues of Railway Review", they can save you a trip with some e-mails and a credit card payment, but it's not as fun.

If you go and say "I'm looking for anything on the Lewisburg, Milton & Watsontown Railway," neither you nor they are going to have as easy a day.

And if you, like so many other folks, go and say "My great-great-grandfather worked for the Pennsy Central Railroad out of Reading, Pa., between 1916 and 1931; I'd like everything you have on him and his railroad and job," then they'll be like the taxi driver that starts the meter at the first word out of your mouth, because you're both in for a lo-o-o-o-ng day.

I can say that when I've had full-sized 2'x3', 3'x4', etc. "blueprints" or linen drawings reproduced for model or preservation work at commercial outlets here in Baltimore, it can run from $3-20 a sheet just over the counter and me handling/owning the drawing. Based only on what I'm seeing for their PHOTO rate schedule, you might expect to pay double that.

But let them answer on their behalf.


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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 11:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
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I have had great experiences there for years, with Kurt and then with Nick. When I had the time to be more active with modeling and writing, the RRMofPA archives were my go-to source. All it takes is a little planning. I have been surprised by the people I have met there who were also in for the day doing research. Modelers, railroaders, even owners of railroads. Part of the fun for me is wondering who I will meet next time.

Overall, I think the collection is under appreciated. And it keeps growing.

Rob


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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 7:35 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 987
10stewi, if you are seeking drawings of a particular Baldwin locomotive, you should probably call or e-mail and inquire whether those drawings are part of the collection. The Baldwin drawings are scattered among half a dozen locations around the country, and the Pennsylvania holdings are in two locations, Harrisburg and Strasburg. As far as I know, the Harrisburg holdings are very incomplete and have never been indexed. I do not know about materials at Strasburg, other than the Broadbelt collection of builder's photos. The vast majority of surviving Baldwin drawings are at the DeGolyer Library at Baylor University in Texas, with smaller holdings at the California State Railroad Museum and a couple of universities.


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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 9:30 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 701
Location: Warren, PA
Might be worthwhile to find out in advance how the materials are filed/indexed; by builder/CN, by drawing number, by railroad, etc. Looks like you've done the front-end work you need to do but you can still get surprises.

It's a joy when it is indexed and searchable. I was absolutely stunned when I found the original Lima drawings for the locomotive my great uncle operated and I have photography of - in the California State Railway Museum collection. Once I had the construction number, everything was indexed online so it was pretty easy. Which is remarkable as it was a one-off, modified standard plan of a 2-6-0 that ran in Pennsylvania.

I'll echo that it's been really hit-and-miss on the Baldwin stuff. I've had several client projects where it's turned into a real snipe hunt.


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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 9:54 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:00 am
Posts: 525
Location: Dallas ,Texas. USA
10stewi wrote:
Hey loco112
Is there a reason that the first day is slow? Is it hard to find certain locomotives in their Baldwin drawings? I already have the Baldwin specs sheet with the order number and drawing numbers on it


Yep there are many reasons.

The first thing is that the badlwin cataloging system is designed to be complex and slow. The second is that unless you have bought all the microfilmed drawing lists (60 of them) from the PN St. Archive and had them put together into a DVD thats searchable, (nd no one has done that yet) its impossible for you to find anything (impossible for you to tell the staff the locations of anything).

Every Baldwin built used parts from previous baldwins built, so to find all the drawings for a locomotive, (the set) you have to do research on the "new Drawings" from "the pryors" (every locomtive that was built in its class before your was). That by itself is a huge task!

The second problem is that patroons damage the materials just by touching them, so the staff is trying to prevent you from access to much of anything. Their main goal is to protect the archive. They will want you to start at step one, and that takes a month or, and a lot of money, before you know a drawing number of what you want.

Now the staff does have an internal search aid that they will not share untill now (beg and maybe they will share som technology with you), and it can tell you how many new drawings were used on each class number.

What I would do, is make sure you know the exact locomotive you are interested in that was built after 1941, then have a back up. If anything you want is prior to 1938, its too new, and nothing about it is in that archive. The best records are post 1941 - 1956 all the ealrier records are mostly intact, but the earlier builders blupeinrts are not. All the drawings for a pre-1941 locomotive amount to less than 1% complete for any one locomotive. The exceptions are just a few where full sets were kept, but those are mostly a couple of old 4-4-0's from 1873 .

Degolyer, at SMU in Dallas, where I am, has next to nothing, from any time period. The parts drawings they do have (very few) are also not in the correct filling system so they are impossible to tell what locomtive set thay should be a part of.

If it all sounds super complicated, time consuming, and in the end; really expensive, you are starting to get your expectations set to the correct setting.

I'm going to post some of my own forums posts on the subject here, its a lot , but its all in there somewhere;

-----------------

Pennsylvania State Archives.

How many of you know that the worlds largest collection of Baldwin "Original Builders Drawings" are in this institution?

Well, they are!

Here is the link to their collection page. I'm working with them now to get a "set" of post 1941 locomotive drawings.

I'll let you know how it turns out. So far its been a mess!

link; http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/mg/sd/m427sd.htm

If you need to know all the; class designation, number in a class, sales order number, construction number, purchasing road, year built, etc. for any Baldwin Locomotive, check out the topic called "Researching your favorite Baldwin Loco" in the "Blueprints wanted" category of the forum.

Since there are only 18 master lists of drawings known to exist out of the 70,000 locomotives produced by Baldwin, Penn St. does not have a single list of drawings (for a specific locomotive). That means locomotive owners of the other 69,982 locomotives threw their lists away or lost them. Penn St. has the same problem that every other collection has, everything is not in a single database so it can be easily compiled and spit out lists of drawings.

Here is the reply to me from Penn St. Archives; "We are not able to produce a list of drawings for the locomotives". "We have no set of Drawings for any locomotive". "Thanks, Pennsylvania State Archives"

What Penn St. does have is a drawings "super list" for 1941 to the end of locomotive production, That list has all the "new" drawings" issued to every class number.

I'm going to purchase a microfilm reader, buy the micro films (all 60 of them) and get setup to do the page by page (film by film) research necessary to assemble a set of drawings for post-1941 Baldwin locomotives, and it's not going to be easy!

Any of you that are looking for sets of drawings for 1941+ Baldwins, can come to me and I will be able to put together a list for you. Post-1941 there were not many NG locomotives built, however, the ones that were built were really modern great locomotives that had expected lifes much longer than earlier locomotive. That leads me to my newest project;.

To find the entire set of "blueprints" (OBD's) for the White Pass & Yukon #72 & 73 2-8-2 Mikado built 1942. These middle sized Mike's operated then on 45 -56 lb rail, and were fantastic locomotives! The WP&Y #70 & 71 were built in 1938, that means that their drawing info is; gone, worm dirt, ashes. Lucky for us, the WP&Y ordered two more locomotives that were identical, the; #72 & 73, and they came in 1946, which was after the Baldwin catalog changed, or we would not be able to find their drawings today either!

---------------------


Penn State Archive web site entry says;

* Once the class is known for a locomotive that was built between 1910-1912, and 1914-1941, that class can be looked up in our Card Record Books, 1910-1912, 1914-1941 {series #427m.11}, which are indexed by class, and thereunder by engine number and purchase. The Card Record Books provide a description and "card number" (drawing number) for each locomotive part. Note that the Pennsylvania State Archives is missing volumes 1 through 28, so it is not possible to use these volumes to identify the drawing numbers for any locomotives manufactured prior to 1910.

I (Loco112) thought this looked like another way to look up drawing sets, so I sent the following question;

"Would this also be a way to create a list drawing numbers for each part of a particular locomotive? Determining the class is the easy part".
"I am ready to purchase the; "Drawing Directories" on micro film, but I just found the above and so now I am thinking that their might be another way. Please elaborate on the above listing for me".

Penn State Archives reply to my question;

"Yes, the Card Record Book (the casrd system was the system used pre 1941) serves as a drawing number list for each locomotive (documented by class) in the extant books". "However, the Card Record Books, with their date span of 1910-1912, 1914-1941, do not contain data for the same locomotives that are documented in the Drawing Directories, since the dates of the Drawing Directories are ca. 1941-1953.

The Card Record Books document the drawing numbering system that was used in the first half of the 20th century, while the Drawing Directories pick up where they left off, when the numbering system changed from simple 4 or 5 digit numbers to an elaborate three-part system denoting size and part category as well as a unique drawing identification number.

Which set of volumes you use to create your lists of drawings will depend on the year your locomotive was built.

Sincerely, PN St Archive staff.

>>

This basically means that if you wanted to look up a locomotive that was built earlier than 1941 , you can look them up in the "card records". Baldwin used the word "Card" instead of the word "Drawing" in pre 1938/1941 years.
They just won't have the drawings, if they existed, Degolyer would have them, but the do not. I assure you, they do not exist.

Pick a 1941 - 1956 locomotive and you will be much happier, anything else and you need to find the drawings that went to the purchasing/owning RR. When a RR got the locomotive they also got a set of blueprints, most of those blueprints are the ones we still have for the any pre-1941 locomtive blueprints, so researching the RR archives, wherever they may be, they are more important that messing around with Pn. St., unless you want a 1941-1956 model, then PN ST Archive is your only friend, other than The RR that bought locomotive, then they might have the set in the form a full set, and that would be much simpler, faster, and less costly than trying to put a set together out of 20,ooo random (But late model) drawings, thats the way it has to be done at Pn St Archive.

--------------


I hope you are starting to see what a hurdle this is going to be, if not, you might not understand what the limits are and what is not in any of those archives.

If you wnat to call me on the phone I would go through all this and more for you, to help you make your decisions. PM me and we'll set it up.

If you can get Kurt Bell or the other female that runs the "Baldwin Volenteers" there at PN st. Archive, try to get them to help you, but its really complicated, slow, and if its pre 1941 you are not going to find a set for it in any Baldwin archive.


Think about where the RR that owned that locmotive might have donated those drawings to? Thats the easiest way to find a set.

Loco112

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Our "paper" archives will be the future railfans only hope. We (yes you too!) should endeavor to preserve all the info needed to allow them 100% accuracy in the building of their recreations.


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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 10:01 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:00 am
Posts: 525
Location: Dallas ,Texas. USA
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=26502&p=161249&hilit=baldwin#p161249

Read this old post and you'll see how we were trying to simplify the finding aid, by making our own.

Once I found out that the PN St Archive had not completed everything, we had to stop, to wait on them.

We are still waiting.

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Our "paper" archives will be the future railfans only hope. We (yes you too!) should endeavor to preserve all the info needed to allow them 100% accuracy in the building of their recreations.


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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 10:56 am 

Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 9:52 am
Posts: 86
10stewi

As Info - Logisitcs:

For PA RR Museum at Strasburg - Avoid days when Thomas visits the Strasburg RR across the street, it’s typically very busy. Parking is available in the lot at the Museum. The first 10 copies are free, additional copies (standard, legal, 11 x 17) are / were 25-cents. Larger-size work is sent out. Practice standard archive protocol. There are work areas in a restricted access office on the second floor. Make appointment ahead of time - Nick 717-687-8628 X3010 (I think). Unless things have changed, access is not free - normal museum admission change. Should you intend spend several days, purchase membership to Friends of PA Museum. Food may be purchased at the RR across the street. Decent sandwiches, etc. can also be found at locally.

For PA Archives at Harrisburg - parking is available street side or in local parking garages several blocks away - arrive early as Harrisburg traffic and one-way streets can be a hassle is one is not familiar with town. The storage tower (Bee Hive) is easy to find. Food is available locally. There is also a great cafeteria in the basement of the State Capitol. The Baldwin collection is huge. Practice standard archive protocol. There are work areas on the first floor – I believe there are lockers for personalty. Make appointment ahead of time - Kurt Belle 717-787-5304 (I think). Kurt was also the archivist at Strasburg for 18 years; he's an excellent source of info.

Both places have there idiosyncrasies. It behooves the researcher to press flesh (meet folks - put faces with the names) as well as get the feel of the place and respective holdings. To be thorough, Hadley Museum (Wilmington), as well as the Smithsonian and Congressional Library (DC) and National Archive (Maryland U) may also be helpful dependant for RR research/ detail/ etc.

Hope this helps,

J Kovach, PG


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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 11:35 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8689
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
JTKovach wrote:
For PA Archives at Harrisburg - parking is available street side or in local parking garages several blocks away - arrive early as Harrisburg traffic and one-way streets can be a hassle is one is not familiar with town. The storage tower (Bee Hive) is easy to find. Food is available locally. There is also a great cafeteria in the basement of the State Capitol. The Baldwin collection is huge. Practice standard archive protocol. There are work areas on the first floor – I believe there are lockers for personal effects. Make an appointment ahead of time - Kurt Bell 717-787-5304 (I think). Kurt was also the archivist at Strasburg for 18 years; he's an excellent source of info.

Both places have there idiosyncrasies. It behooves the researcher to press flesh (meet folks - put faces with the names) as well as get the feel of the place and respective holdings. To be thorough, Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington, Del.; www.hagley.org ), as well as the Smithsonian and Library of Congress (www.loc.gov ) and National Archives (Downtown Washington and Suitland, Md.; www.archives.gov ) may also be helpful for RR research/ detail/ etc.


Fixed those for you. And Chris Baer is the man you want at Hagley, if it's PRR stuff you need.

It's absolutely the case that you want to get to know an archive's operating methods and "style" before going. One place may sit you at a cubicle and let you handle exactly one document/book/photo at a time, which they fetch and bring to you; another may take a half-day vetting you and all but strip-searching you for pens and blades, and then turn you loose in the shelves or files. Some places have very odd hours for access to the public; others are quite open and accessible but fairly useless. Some will let you bring your own laptop and scanner or camera; others insist on doing it themselves (at a fee, naturally). Some attempt to make everything computerized; others are fairly reliant on "walking encyclopedia" volunteers/staffers that can point you to the best original source(s) for the information you seek. Both methods have their major pluses and severe shortcomings.

As for the laments about the Baldwin drawings, I would suggest that at least half of this "problem" can be laid at the original Baldwin methodology (which, again, has its pluses and minuses), and the other half at the fact that there is simply little to no economic return on the massive task of sorting, archiving, and/or making accessible this massive mess of information which is, we have to concede, amazingly trivial in the grand scheme of state and world history and priorities, and even in the grand scheme of railroad history. (Unless, of course, you're the railroad rebuilding a specific Baldwin loco in need of an "as-built" drawing--and even then, I suspect outfits like Strasburg or the UP can do a lot of "reverse engineering".)


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 Post subject: Re: RR Museum of PA Archives
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 12:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 987
Another difficulty with the Baldwin Locomotive Works engineering drawings collection is that it is incomplete. Much of the material at the DeGolyer Library came from the private collection of C. W. Witbeck, who was specifically interested in small logging locomotives. He had successfully saved a large portion of the BLW drawings in the 1950's at the very moment BLW was disposing of them. He sold or gave away items that were of no interest to him. A smaller portion of what he saved went to Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La., his hometown, following his death.

I am not sure how materials ended up elsewhere, other than those at Harrisburg. When the Austin-Western Company, the last vestige of Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton, went out of business around 1980, they donated whatever they still had on hand to the State Archives. Much of that material concerns diesels and export steam locomotives from the final years of BLW production and is not fully indexed.


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