The Society Archives were established by action of the Society at its general membership
meeting in May, 2005. Member Russ Dolbear volunteered to be
Archivist, and provided a temporary storage space for the archives.
He provided further research
and recommendations on a method of identifying and cataloging items received for the archives.
The formal policy document was adopted by the Executive Committee early in 2006, and laid out the following broad categories of items:
- Material and Physical Items
- Digital Scans, Files, and Images
- Maps and Drawings
- Documentation and Correspondence
- Educational Texts, Published Material, and Manuscripts
Items received to date
To date, such materials include photos/slides, paper/forms, railroad publications such as timetables/magazines and track charts/blueprints. The Archives is
also responsible for the long-term corporate records of the Society.
The physical storage spot is in a climate-controlled facility
in King George, Virginia.
Some examples (click on image for larger photo):
RF&P trainman and conductor hats
Bound paper at shelf location B-7
Bound paper at shelf locations C-6 and D-6
Daily train movement sheets, bound in 6 month sets, starting 1921 through 1937 in photo; collection spans years 1898-1956 (not complete)
First permanent home for the Archives
At the 2nd Quarter 2016 Meeting, the Society announced its lease of space at 311 Central Road in Fredericksburg, in the former Wilson Brothers building. The two rooms comprise about 600 square
feet, and will allow storage and workspace on one site. At the conclusion of the meeting at Salem Church Library, the meeting was recessed to reconvene at the new site. If you are interested in
partipating in the Archives committee effort toward same, please send a note to Bill Sheild, firstname.lastname@example.org, and he'll add you to the email chain.
The recent effort is owed in large part to several members, including Stan Short, Dick Eggleston and Morris Pitts, to see the Archives be accessible to the membership, with a vision
toward at least one archival work session each quarter outside the Society membership meetings. The Society's adopted 2016 budget includes funds for rent of a physical location beyond
the storage unit, as well as archives preservation efforts. The EC approved the lease in late March 2016 and the lease was signed on April 1, 2016.
Day to day archival spending has been delegated to the heads of the Archives committee by the EC from the 2016 Archives budget line item. Dick Eggleston has accepted appointment as the Chair of
the Archives Committee.
Archival Work Sessions
Calendar coming soon. Likely initial goal to be March, June, September and November, but may be more frequent than that, perhaps monthly. There will also need to be general help to move the Archives in storage in King George once a
once a schedule is released.
William E. Griffin Jr Memorial Archives Fund
The EC formally established the William E. Griffin, Jr., Memorial Archives Fund on April 30, 2016 to honor the memory of the late Bill Griffin. Mr. Griffin was a long-time RF&P
employee, a noted railroad author, and he helped to keep its memory alive before the formation of the Society. Any donations to the Griffin Memorial Archives Fund will be restricted to use for Archives purposes only.
An online catalog of items in the Archives is planned, but a format has not yet been agreed to. Access to the
Archives themselves has not been determined, but copies of some items may be offered in the Company Store in the future.
Receipt of Items
Since the Society is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) exempt organization, the Society is able
to accept donations of items for the archives, with the donor responsible for estimating their value.
While to most this is small, it does mean the Society could accept equipment and/or real estate from a willing donor.
If you have an item or items you wish to donate, please contact Bill Sheild, Society President, at email@example.com.