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ASC exhibit to celebrate L&N Railroad history

by Janene Zaccone last modified Oct 18, 2013 02:02 PM

“All Aboard!” Archives and Special Collections at the University of Louisville will open a multi-gallery exhibit celebrating its collections of Louisville & Nashville Railroad (L&N) materials Nov. 6, with a 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. reception in the east wing, lower level lobby of Ekstrom Library.

ASC exhibit to celebrate L&N Railroad history

Humming Bird at Baxter Ave. station, Louisville, Ky., 1946.

ASC also will honor 25-year volunteer Charles B. Castner, a former L&N public relations professional, for his work for being instrumental in bringing L&N records and materials to UofL and for his work with them since.

“All Aboard! A Celebration of the L&N Collections in Archives and Special Collections” will include photos, documents, employee magazines and ephemeral material, as well as static models of mid-20th century L&N equipment.

“The stories of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Co. are both large, as in its role in the development of the coal and mineral fields of Alabama and Eastern Kentucky, and small, as in the story of the rescue of Western Kentucky University basketball fans caught in a snowstorm on their way back to Bowling Green from a game in Lexington,” said Carrie Daniels, ASC director. “This exhibit features not only trains, rails, tunnels, tickets and travel brochures, but also the regular folks who breathed life into the system and kept it rolling.”

If lined up, the materials in ASC’s L&N collections would extend the length of a football field. The printed materials and hundreds of vintage prints and original glass negatives yield information as broad as the industrialization of the New South and as specific as the shape of an inner bolt on the wheel of a freight car.

Each year hundreds of researchers—historians, journalists, editors, museum curators, railroad enthusiasts, authors and students—comb through the minute books, financial records, annual reports, timetables, station lists, maps, architectural drawings and other items. The collections provide a comprehensive record of the transportation giant which positioned Louisville, Ky., at the center of north/south commerce in the decades following the Civil War.

Regular exhibit hours for “All Aboard!” are Monday ‒ Friday, 8 a.m. ‒ 5 p.m. There will be special Sunday hours Nov. 10, noon ‒ 5 p.m. The exhibit will close Feb. 7.

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