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Digital Collections and Albums
Transportation Library Menu Collection
The collection of more than 400 airline, railroad and cruise ship menus began as a gift from Northwestern alumnus George M. Foster, who donated his extensive menu collection to the Transportation Library in 1997, where it has since been expanded from other sources.
Ira Silverman Railroad Menu Collection
The Ira Silverman Railroad Menu Collection consists of 238 items: 227 menus and eleven pamphlets. 35 United States and Canadian railroads are represented in the collection.
Chicago O'Hare International Airport Collection
Comprising material from 1927 through 1998, the Chicago O’Hare International Airport Digital Collection includes studies, annual reports, statistics, plans, and other information covering the operations of the airport and its transit connections to the region produced by the City of Chicago and other organizations.
Chicago Region Digital Transportation Collection
The major transportation agencies of the Chicago region: Pace, RTA, and CTA are represented through annual reports, planning documents, surveys, and other studies in this collection of digitized materials, dating back to 1945.
Wilmo Engine Company Dealer's Sample Catalog
This album depicts early 20th-century motor vehicles. Photographs of the Wilmo Vehicle Co., founded circa 1915, depict early combustion automobiles and their engines, as well as the factories in which these automobiles and engines were assembled.
Souvenir of Auto Trip to San Francisco, 1915
Photographs of an automobile trip from Iowa to the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915.
Streamliner Passenger Trains Album
An album of promotional photographs documenting the introduction of Streamliner passenger trains in the United States. Also includes photographs of Westinghouse electric locomotives and steam locomotives operated by railroads in the United States and Canada.
Atlas of Freight Facilities
The Atlas of Freight Facilities, published in 1971, mapped the locations of gas pipelines, petroleum pipelines, electric transmission, motor freight, rail freight, waterborne freight, air freight and other terminals in the Chicago region based on data obtained by the Chicago Area Transportation Study.
Ronald J. Sullivan Photograph Collection
An extensive collection of photographs of public and commercial buses and public transit and commuter trains, primarily in the Chicago area, dating from 1946-2000.
All Aboard Amtrak! 50 Years of America's Railroad
May 1, 1971 marked the beginning of Amtrak service. The intercity passenger rail market in the United States – which, at that point, was served by some two dozen privately-owned companies – was in rapid decline, with dwindling ridership numbers and deteriorating equipment and infrastructure. Amtrak was created with the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, consolidating and restructuring intercity passenger rail service under a quasi-public corporation in an effort to retain passenger rail as part of a balanced transportation system for the United States.
The 747 Takes Off: Dawn of the Jumbo Jet Age
Longer than the Wright brothers’ first flight, wider than a boulevard, and with a tail height as tall as a six-story building, the 747 was a revolution in aviation technology and the passenger experience when it entered service on January 22, 1970. With the first flight from New York to London, Pan Am’s Clipper Young America ushered in the jet age’s second phase: the era of wide body aircraft.
Independence in the Air: African Aviation in the 1960s
As nations throughout Africa attained their independence in the 1960s and surrounding decades, the establishment of national airlines soon followed. These airlines served important functions in connecting regions underserved by rail and road infrastructure. Equally as important, they served as symbols of national identity, economic expansion, modernity, and technological advancement. This exhibit looks at the history of African airlines through materials from the collections of the Transportation Library and the Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University.
On Board with Design: Passenger Transportation and Graphic Design in the Mid-20th Century
This exhibit draws from the special and circulating collections at Northwestern University’s Transportation Library to highlight examples of branding and graphic design in the form of passenger ephemera such as menus, timetables, and ticket envelopes, as well as through the library’s extensive collection of annual reports.
Lovers of the Open Road and the Flying Wheel
In the spring of 1915, tree travelers departed Iowa in a Model T for a journey to the Panama Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco. Follow their journey along the Lincoln Highway, through the lens of a photo album documenting their trip, in the online exhibit Lovers of the Open Road and the Flying Wheel.
Bicycles on Paper
As it is today, the bicycle at the turn of the 20th century was a form of transportation, recreation, amusement, and a creator of community. The online exhibit Bicycles on Paper looks at bicycles in all of these forms through printed matter in the collection of Northwestern University’s Transportation Library.
O'Hare at 50
On March 23, 1963, President John F. Kennedy officially dedicated O'Hare International Airport. Fifty years later, our beloved O'Hare is still going strong and has become a city and national transportation icon.
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