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Norfolk Southern Corp. has donated the complete collection of historical documents and archives from predecessor company Norfolk and Western Railway to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, the company announced today.
The collection dates back to the 1840s and includes thousands of photographs and glass plate negatives, as well as business records, annual reports, blueprints, plans, bridge drawings, advertisements, portraits and three-dimensional artifacts from predecessor railroads that together provide a look into the growth of rail transportation across the eastern United States.
The company will also donate $750,000 to support the collection in perpetuity, NS officials said in a press release.
"This important piece of history belongs in Virginia, and we’re confident that our archives will be in excellent hands with the Virginia Museum of History & Culture," said NS Chairman and CEO Jim Squires.
Norfolk and Western originated as a 9-mile, single-track line in 1838 to connect Petersburg and City Point (now Hopewell), Virginia. In the years to follow, more than 200 railroad companies were built, merged, reorganized and consolidated until the company merged with Southern Railway in 1982 to create Norfolk Southern.
"With the addition of the Norfolk and Western collection, the VMHC now houses one of the most significant railroad archives in the United States," said VMHC President and CEO Jamie Bosket.