The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society


T1 5544 with a set of EP-20’s at Harrisburg in July 1949.  John M. Prophet photo.

PRR Railroad Document Locations


PRRT&HS Lewistown Archives

Large collection of original PRR documents, drawings and some valuation sections at Lewistown, PA.  A portion of the collection has been cataloged and is open for research visits.

There are no employee or personnel records at this location.

See Research at the PRRT&HS Archives, Instructions for Research to arrange a visit. Volunteers are needed to assist in further cataloging.

For additional information about volunteering only contact Charlie Woodward at:

For information on performing research at the Lewistown archives see: Lewistown Station and Archives

Reproductions (from microfilm) of PRR Freight Car Arrangement and Lettering Drawings are available.
For further information see Products for Sale.

Hagley Museum and Library

Manuscripts and Archives Department
PO Box 3630
298 Buck Road East
Greenville, DE 19807-0630
(Near Wilmington)

For information on performing research, online catalog and contacts see:

Very large collection of original PRR documents with a comprehensive multi-volume document finding aid. Also a good collection of PRR photographs. Researchers wishing to use the collections are encouraged to discuss their research projects with a staff member prior to visiting.

Manuscripts and Archives Department

Voice 302-658-2400, fax 302-658-0545
Chris Baer – Assistant Curator
Lucas Clawson– Reference Archivist

Imprints Department

Voice 302-658-2400, fax 302-658-3690
Linda Gross – Reference Librarian

Pictorial Collections Department

Voice 302-658-2400, fax 302-658-3690
J. Stevenson – Picture Archivist

Pennsylvania State Archives

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Division of Archives and Manuscripts
PO Box 1026
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1026
Contact – Kurt R. Bell, Railroad Archivist –

Large collection of PRR documents and drawings as well as a large body of Volunteer Relief Department enrollment cards, which are arranged in five series in alphabetical order. Consult  their webpage on the VRD cards at:

PRR Voluntary Relief Enrollment Cards

Their general page on railroad related genealogical research might also be of interest:

Genealogical Research at the Pennsylvania State Archives

Railroad Museum of Penn
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
PO Box 15
Strasburg, PA 17579


Collection of PRR documents and related information. Must have an appointment to do research.

Contact is Nick Zmijewski

Pennsylvania State University Libraries

Historical Collections and Labor Archives
Paterno Library
Curtin Road
University Park, PA 16802
Voice 814-863-2505, fax 814-863-5775

Large collection of PRR documents primarily from the Central Region, some photographs. Although the collection has been only preliminarily cataloged it is available for use. Ninety-seven page finding aid is useful but not comprehensive.

New York Public Library

Rare Book & Manuscripts Division
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
Room 319
New York, NY 10018
212-930-0801, fax 212-302-4815

Mostly LIRR records, PRR Legal Department files on LIRR, Pennsylvania Tunnel and Terminal Company files, Hotel Pennsylvania files, PSNY engineering and architectural drawings.

New Jersey State Archives

185 West State Street

PO Box 307

Trenton, NJ 08625-0307

Voice 609-984-3299, search room 609-292-6265

Camden and Amboy, Delaware and Raritan Canal, New Jersey Railroad, Philadelphia and Trenton, West Jersey and Seashore (but not PRSL which are at Hagley), New Jersey Grand Division and New York Zone files. Some material has not yet been processed for lack of staff and funding and is not open for research.

Temple University Libraries

Urban Archives Center
Paley Library
13th and Berks Streets
Philadelphia, PA
Voice 215-204-5750, fax 251-204-3681

A large collection of individual files from the PRR’s Voluntary Relief Department (VRD).  VRD files were given sequential numbers in the order in which they were opened, rather like social security numbers. They are not arranged alphabetically, and it may be very difficult to locate files by surname. The institutions' rationale in saving the records was to have a sociological sample of railroad employee work histories that could be used for statistical purposes, not individual genealogies. Likewise, the PRR arranged the files for the purpose of keeping tabs on sick and death benefits, not genealogical research. Unless the PRR's own indexes were preserved, it would be almost impossible to search the files for an individual short of looking at every file. If you don't know where on the PRR they worked or when, that makes it even more difficult.

For information on performing research see:

Temple University -The Urban Archives

University of Michigan

Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Voice 313-764-3482, fax 313-936-1333

GR&I records and legal department files pertaining to Michigan

PRR Equipment Diagrams

PRR Equipment Diagrams -- A collective effort headed by member Rob Schoenberg

Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society
A 501(c)(3) Pennsylvania Non-Profit Corporation
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