Thursday, December 02, 2010


My passion is railroad history and my job is centered around library science and information management. Sometimes these two things meet and create good things.

One of the big thorns in the research side of this project has been a lack of digital resources for the Pittsburgh and Connellsville Railroad. The railroad was to have connected the city of Pittsburgh with the B&O's main line via a junction at Cumberland, MD in the 1850's. It became a pawn in a power play between emerging Pennsylvania Railroad interests, Pittsburgh commercial and industrial interests, the B&O Railroad and the State of Virginia and the City of Wheeling.

While this line was eventually built all the way to Cumberland, it took much political and commercial and in some cases legal maneuvering to get it done. Now, finally! there are portions of the annual reports online!

Go to:

and in the search field put in "Pittsburgh Connellsville Railroad"


Thursday, June 17, 2010

WABTEC ca. 1905 is a really nice photo site that showcases high quality scans of historic images. In this case, they are showcasing the Westinghouse Air Brake factory in Wilmerding, PA ca 1905.

And there's B&O cars there to boot!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Build the Bibliography

So, I'm having to go back to my days as a young graduate student at UMBC and remember how I researched and wrote my master's thesis. If I recall, the first part was to compile an annotated bibliography of sources. So, that's where I'm going to start here. Look for these items to be appearing on this blog over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

My projects are on a Lazy Susan...

So this blog got pushed well to the back of the pile a few years ago. This was mainly due to the fact that this project got pushed to the back of the pile as well. Now things are starting to revolve around. A couple of major projects for the B&O Railroad Historical Society have been moved to the "done" pile. This now opens up a slot for a new or existing project.

In this case the Pittsburgh Division Book is back at the forefront.

There's a couple of reasons that have led to this movement. One is that I do have more free time. Another is that a colleague in the field of amateur railroad historians has been doing some great work in Virginia. I think I've been inspired by his success to move ahead with this project. One more reason is that the archives of the B&O Railroad Historical Society have been getting organized by leaps and bounds since I put this project on the table. It's now easier to find things than it had been.

So, I'll be blogging some more as I work on things here. See you soon.