Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, trains, history, excitement.
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Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, a world class museum of railroad history in Strasburg, PA.

How we manage the collection...

Technology      Standards
The Volunteer Team and Project History
Financial Support



We make use of an extensive system of networked computer and scanning equipment, supported by a sophosticated server installation with extensive backup capabilities.

Inmagic DBtextworks.Data is entered in Inmagic DB Textworks, a flexible system designed for such uses.


The search system utilizes a modern web-based search engine and discovery interface, Andornot Discovery Interface, created by our long-term consultant Andornot Consulting, which also hosts the web interface.

The catalog now lists 272,000 records, of which nearly 80,000 have associated scanned images.


Materials are identified and classified using a combination of professional standards and software standards developed in conjunction with library consultants and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, coupled with our own special knowledge of railroads.

We regularly review our database, making updates and corrections as needed.

The Volunteer Team and Project History

Management Team
Providing Leadership, Implementation, Technical Standards
Neil Gruber.
Bob Donecker
Data Standards, Planning, Cataloging & Compilation
Jim Alexander
Project and Grant Management  / Webmaster / IT Services
Neil Gruber
Images and Database Management & Standards
Steve Ferrell.
Nick Zmijewski.
Steve Ferrell
Lead Scanner
Nick Zmijewski
Collection Manager - Archives
George Burbage
Database Development / IT Advisor
Some of the Many Hard-working Volunteers
Richard Wurst.Loretta Harrison.Schmidt.Artz.

Friends of the Railroad Museum volunteers perform record identification, classification, description development, and data entry, in close coordination with the Museum's professional staff. Overall direction is provided by the Museum Director, who assures that Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission standards are observed. Volunteers have contributed over 100,000 hours of effort to date.

Green eyeshade gang.Work started many years ago, when members of the Friends of the Railroad Museum began compiling lists of books and archival holdings. Then early computers were used, followed by more sophisticated hardware, software, and procedures. Efforts became more formalized when volunteer Earle Compton (front row, right) applied his corporate skills and organized the "Green Eyeshade Gang," which undertook focused effort to identify and record the massive amount of material in the archives -- much of which was valuable historically but had been acquired in undocumented batches.

This effort was joined by the FRM computer volunteers, and professional advisors were consulted to assure accurate and useful results. Fifteen years later, the effort continues!

FRM.Financial Support

The Friends of the Railroad Museum have provided ongoing funds for the project, most recently including the funding for the current Discovery search system.

NARF.The North American Railway Foundation provided early project funding to allow the first version of online catalog searching on the museum's web site.

Norfolk Southern Foundation.The Norfolk Southern Foundation has also lent signicant financial support allowing electronic infrastructure improvements.

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Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Assisted by the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
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