The Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation is blessed
to serve as the agents of preservation for numerous important photographic
and ephemera collections centered on Southern Californian rail history.
These collections are identified by their creators / assemblers,
and constitute one of the major initiatives of the Foundation: preservation,
documentation and publication of these collections to our fellow
Southern Californians, and the world.
While we do welcome visitors to our offices, we recognize
electronic dissemination of information as far more efficient in
reaching the widest possible audience. To that end, we are digitizing
our many collections - a laborious process, to be sure - and making
them available here, through this website, for all to see and appreciate.
Please visit us often, as we are continually adding new image sets
to all our online collections.
Bison Archives – Marc Wanamaker Collection | Click here to view collection
Marc Wanamaker is a world-class expert and consultant in film history who has worked in many facets of film production, exhibition and research for several decades. Bison’s extensive and unique photo archive, assembled over an almost 40-year period, is used for story research, publishing, international media outlets and documentary film production and is an information source for several Bison Productions film projects
Two of Marc’s collection categories are of direct interest to LARHF. Hollywood – Trains, Streetcars and the Movies consists of production photographs with the actors interacting with trains and streetcars mostly in the Los Angeles area. The second category is a collection of photographs that the Location Departments in the studios documented for potential locations of railroad backgrounds or for immediate assistance for a film’s production.
Bill and Betty Everett Ephemera and Model
Collection | Click here to view collection
Bill and Betty Everett are lifelong
fans of trolleys and interurbans, with a special emphasis on the
Pacific Electric Railway. A retired California Highway Patrol
officer, Bill is a famed modeler whose efforts have produced hundreds
of models, including every piece of equipment ever operated by
the PE. Bill and Betty also have assembled an authoritative collection
of trolley / interurban artifacts from systems around the country,
and probably the greatest book library ever assembled on the subject
matter of streetcars, trolleys and interurbans.
Donald Duke Collection | Click here to view collection
The Donald Duke Collection is one of the most important rail photography collections ever assembled. Comprised of his own images as well as those of fellow rail photographers, it has been scanned and is available for viewing by appointment on LARHF’s “Aperture” photographic software in its Alhambra offices. Today, the originals as well as Don’s substantial paper, map and collateral archive are housed at the Huntington Library.
Ralph Melching Collection | Click here to view
Ralph Melching (1917-2005) was a founder
of the Pacific
Rail Society (née Railroad Boosters) and an avid rail
photographer throughout his adult life. Ralph photographed a wide
variety of rail-based subjects, including the construction of
Los Angeles Union Station in 1938-39, as well as the Pacific Electric
Railway and main line railroads.
Fletcher Swan Collection | Click
here to view collection
Fletcher Swan is the former mayor of
the city of South Pasadena, and a long-time rail enthusiast. Fletcher
began his career before World War II as an employee of the AT&SF
Railway, and served (among many capacities) as an official photographer.
His collection documents the Santa Fe and its operations in Los
Angeles during a pivotal period in Southland history.
Charles Lawrence - Mount Lowe Tourist
Photograph Collection | Click
here to view collection
Charles Lawrence documented thousands
of visitors to Mount Lowe, the tourist railway north of Pasadena
and part of the Pacific Electric from the turn of the century
until the late 1930s. This collection consists, of tourist photographs
shot by Lawrence and his team of visitors posed on the famed incline
railway. What makes this collection unique is that all photographs
on hand were "return-to-sender," meaning the tourists
never received the photographic memory of their Mount Lowe experience.
Roger L. Titus Collection | Click
here to view collection
Roger L. Titus is a noted rail historian
and postcard collector and is the co-author of "Destinations,"
a Foundation-published title documenting the rise
of Southern California through vintage postcards and their relationship
to the trolley lines that fueled Southland growth. As a teenager,
Roger and his father Robert rode the Pacific Electric and Los
Angeles Railway systems, photographing the systems as they were
on the verge of shutdown. His collection provides a brilliant
snapshot into late-1940s through late-1950s Southern California,
and how trolley systems defined our way of life.
County of Los Angeles Rail Division Map
and Imagery Collection | Collection
This collection consists of de-accessioned
materials (maps, plans and photographs) of rail right-of-ways
and easements controlled by the County of Los Angeles. Thanks
to County employee Craig Jacquez, this material was saved from
destruction and is now available for research by the community
Lester Wiltse Paper Collection
Lester Wiltse worked for Pasadena Star-News,
and throughout his lifetime assembled an amazing array of books,
ephemera and paper, including a complete collection of Ira Swett