Material considered for accession by the Lake States Railway Historical Association, Inc. must meet the criteria outlined in this document.

Accession will be determined given the following considerations:

  • Original/Non-Duplicative in nature (not copies)
  • Rarity or typicality of the items
  • Condition of the items
  • Capacity of LSRHA to store and maintain the items
  • Uniqueness of the items to material already in the collection
  • Whether there are gift conditions attached to the items
  • Displayable and interest properties of the items
  • Appropriateness of the items to the collection and the interpretive plan

Items must be of proven provenance of the donor. LSRHA does not purchase collections, nor accept collections on a loan basis. Collections must be free of restrictions or preconditions unless pre-approved by the Collection Management Committee.

Primary time period of collection shall be from steam locomotion to the end of the 20th Century. (“Primary” in this instance is defined as a plurality of the volume of the collection)

Primary geographic area of interest: the western Great Lakes region of the United States. (“Primary” in this instance is defined as a plurality of the volume of the collection)

Collections must consist primarily of 2-D objects such as:

  • Architectural and civil engineering artifacts such as engineering drawings, route maps, elevation profiles, and the like.
  • Time tables, train orders, meeting minutes, corporate correspondences, employee records, and the like.
  • Pictorials, defined as photographic images produced by any means, mass-produced images originally intended as illustrative materials, and the like.
  • Printed materials such as railroad policy materials such as railroad policy manuals, rulebooks, union publications, advertisements, and the like.
  • Machine readable records such as micro media, sound recordings, magnetic storage media, computer records, and any materials requiring a special device for information retrieval (depending on availability of information retrieval devices on hand or planned).
  • Educational and Reference Collections such as trade journals, magazines, and books, technical manuals.
  • Demonstration collections such as models, videos, movies, interviews, audio recording, and the like.

Photographic Images Guidance

LSRHA desires photo collections that are a plurality of:

  • Donor’s original work. LSRHA understands there may be work of others (i.e. “trader” slides or negatives) mixed in with original work. Generally, LSRHA will not scan most traders unless their provenance is determined. Duplicates, copywork, or commercially purchased photography will not be catalogued or scanned and may be subject to de-accession.
  • Company-produced photography, as long as it is not known to be copyrighted.
  • Film such as negatives, transparencies, and positives. Prints are generally discouraged unless they are the work of the donor and/or historically significant.

To improve efficiency of photographic collection processing and scanning, LSRHA recommends that basic metadata accompany images (railroad, location, date). Collections should be well organized and identified.

Items we do not accept:

  • Railfan and model railroading periodicals (exception: historical society publications)
  • Fiction
  • Items containing private information (e.g. social security numbers)
  • Primarily (a majority of) 3-D artifacts
  • Clothing
  • Foreign country subjects (except Canada and Mexico)
  • Artwork (except company advertising or related company-produced material)
  • Railroad Models and related ephemera

LSRHA may request an inventory for review before accepting potential donations.

LSRHA reserves discretion to de-access and sell any items deemed surplus or duplicate to existing collections, or otherwise unacceptable within a collection.

revised 10/21/23