The B&O Railroad Museum’s archives and library are dedicated to the history and preservation of American railroading, emphasizing the legacy of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and other significant railroads located in Maryland.


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View our online collection records and finding aids.

Rare and Published Books 

The Research Library contains over 5,000 published books pertaining to the railroad industry, many of which are rare and/or out of print. Notable subjects include:  

  • Histories of various railroad companies across the nation and world 
  • Biographies and autobiographies of individuals who influenced the railroad industry  
  • Manuals and instructional textbooks about the business of railroading and its technological aspects 
  • Locomotive and car builder encyclopedias 
  • Published locomotive rosters and books about different locomotive types 
  • Books about railroad stations, freight services, passenger services and travel, and the evolution of locomotive technology  

Periodicals & Magazines 

The periodical collection contains overs 200 titles from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. These periodicals document the various aspects of railroading including industry publications, journals, railroad employee magazines, and other publications created by railroads and historical societies. Notable titles include: 

  • B&O Railroad Employees Magazine 
  • The Book of the Royal Blue 
  • The American Railroad Journal 
  • The Railroad Gazette 
  • Poor’s Manual of Railroads 
  • Railroad History 

Object Files 

The object files relate to the Museum’s locomotive, rolling stock, and large equipment historic collection. These files contain information regarding the history and conservation of locomotives and rolling stock in the museum’s collection.  

Photographs  

  • P1 General Photograph Collection – Contains mainly black & white photographs from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, the bulk of which were taken or collected by the Public Relations Department of the B&O Railroad.  
  • P2 Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) Photograph Collection – Contains almost 5,000 valuation photographs, most of which are negatives, and displays detailed views of various valuation sections on B&O Railroad property from 1915-1930. 

Ephemera Collection 

The ephemera collection consists of printed documents created for a specific, limited purpose and generally designed to be discarded after use. Items which are considered part of the ephemera collection include tickets, timetables, stock certificates, bills of lading, menus, leaflets, waybills, employee passes, postcards, etc. The ephemera collection is partially processed and cataloged, but access to the catalog at this time is available by making an appointment or through the assistance of archival staff. 

Employee Records 

Contains records that may be of interest to genealogists and researchers looking for more information about specific individuals who worked for the B&O Railroad. For more information about Employment Records visit the Employee Record Request page

Maps, Drawings, Artwork 

Various maps, drawings, artwork, lithographs, and other graphic-type materials relating mostly to the B&O and C&O. This portion of the collection is partially processed. Access to some of these materials may be restricted depending on their processing status. 

Valuation Map Collection 

The Research Library is home to a large collection of railroad valuation maps, which were created by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) from 1915-1920 to inventory extant railroad structures and property. They detail land owned by the railroad, including the right-of-way, track layout, buildings and structure locations, and other engineering details for the entire U.S. railroad system mile by mile. Almost all of the maps are ink drawn on linen, measure 25″ by 54” and cover between one half mile and four miles of track.  

The CSX Collection 

The CSX Collection consists of minute books, annual reports, and other business records of the B&O Railroad, C&O Railway, Western Maryland Railway, and other subsidiary companies of CSX Transportation.  


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More from the archives

Janet F.
Morgantown, WV

As you moved through the roundhouse it felt like you were following a cohesive storyline through the early history of the railroad.

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