College digitizes railroad photos, documents

From the Register-Mail:

Just in time for Railroad Days, Knox College’s Seymour Library has launched “Railroads in the Midwest,” an on-line digital collection of early documents and images.

The collection contains everything from high quality scans of 19th century photographs to PDFs of annual reports for long-defunct railroads, and is comprised of documents previously available in the library’s archives.

As this marks the first time they will be in a centralized location, putting the collection online saves railroad fans a trip to the archives and the archivists a lot of legwork, said archivist Carley Robison, who along with Information Technologies Librarian Laurie Sauer put together the collection.

“Railroads” is the library’s first digital project and uses technology available from the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois.

The railroad was chosen as the subject for a variety of reasons, some obvious, others not so.

“It was a group decision. (Library Director) Jeff Douglas originally suggested the railroad because of the number of documents the college has on the railroad owing to our location,” Sauer said.