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Archival Collections

The Transportation Library is home to the following rare and archival materials. Additional information about these holdings are available in the informational finding aids linked here. Visit the Transportation Library to access these non-circulating materials.

Transportation archival collections
Collection Description Size
H.H. Copeland Maps and Tables Maps and tables on U.S. railways dating from the early 1930's to the mid 1950's. See collection details. 74 items
Early Automobile Companies Ephemera Collection, 1910-1932 Published advertising and marketing brochures, maps, guides and general information about automobiles dating between 1910 and 1932. See collection details.

259 items

Leigh Fisher O'Hare Collection Leigh Fisher (1922-1982) was an airport consultant and founder of Leigh Fisher Associates (LFA) who advised on the design and construction of airports throughout the second half of the 20th century. Fisher advised on over 200 airports worldwide, and he participated in the design and construction of Chicago O'Hare International Airport. See collection details. 22 letters
George M. Foster Timetable Collection Timetables issued between 1929 and 1991 (1695 airline, 56 railroad, and 15 ship and ferry) provide contextual depth for Transportation Library Menu Collection, as many of the timetables include Foster's notes as to flight date and time, and can be matched to his annotated menus. See the collection details. 1766 timetables
Gary Gelzer Transportation Collection Postcards, timetables, menus and other materials related to 20th-century railroads, ships, ocean liners and other modes of transportation. See collection details. 454 items
William R. Hough Timetable Collection The William R. Hough Timetables Collection consists of 812 timetables issued between 1907 and 2016. There are 753 railroad, 20 ship, 9 bus, and 3 airline timetables. The collection is primarily North American in scope, while also including some European and Australian content.
See Collections details.
812 items
Inland Water Pamphlets Brochures related to late-19th to mid-20th century inland water transportation, primarily of the Great Lakes. See collection details. 78 items
Stephen P. James Collection Stephen P. James (1893-1971) was an early pioneer in highway safety development and education. This collection covers his and his colleagues' work from 1920 to 1969. See collection details. 9 boxes
William Luke Photograph Collection The William Luke Photograph Collection is a collection of photographs of buses from at least 60 countries. See collection details. 4,569 photos
William Luke Transportation Collection  Local transit maps, time tables, transit tickets, postcards and other materials from 98 countries and 38 US states. Materials in the collection range in publication date from 1935 to 2012, with the majority of the collection dating from the late 20th century. See collection details. 6,252 items
Lawrence M. Nagin Airline Menu and Memorabilia Collection Transportation materials centered on the aviation industry of the late 20th century. See collection details. 2,689 items
Ira Silverman Railroad Menu Collection 35 U.S. and Canadian railroads are represented in the collection, which includes menus and pamphlets. See collection details. 238 items
Ronald J. Sullivan Photograph Collection Photographs and slides of primarily public bus and train transportation spanning the years 1940-2000. See collection details 1111 photos
John A. Swider Timetable Collection Rail and bus timetables from the United States and Canada issued 1880 through 2006, with the majority dating from the 1930s through the 1990s. It includes timetables focused on the Chicago metropolitan area, and on travel to the San Francisco, Chicago, and New York World’s Fairs. See collection details. 919 items
David Toms Collection Transportation-related items, primarily airline menus and safety cards, from 123 airlines and cruise lines. See David Toms collection details. 1,059 items
Transportation Menu Collection The collection of more than 400 airline, railroad and cruise ship menus began as a gift from Northwestern alumnus George M. Foster, who donated his extensive menu collection to the Transportation Library in 1997, where it has since been expanded from other sources. Learn more and access the digital collection. 400+ menus
Transportation Library Photograph Collection The photographs are uncommon illustrations of automotive and maritime transportation spanning from the early to mid-20th century. See collection details. 217 photos
David V. Woolf Bus and Train Collection Transportation-related postcards, primarily for buses and bus lines. See collection details.

154 items