This collection consists of railroad and electric railway
photographs, ephemera and publications, 1829-2010, with the bulk of material from
the early- to mid-20th century. The materials are chiefly focused on steam and
diesel locomotives, major railroads, and interurban passenger railways of the United
States and Canada. Also represented are shortline and narrow-gauge railroads, other
foreign railroads, streetcars and urban light rail transit.
Donald Duke (1929-2010) was a publisher, writer, railroad photographer and collector.
He was born in Los Angeles and, from the age of 10, lived in San Marino, California. He grew up riding the Pacific Electric
Railway, which stopped
two blocks from his home, embarking on a love for trains and train photography,
which he shared with his father. After graduating from Colorado College, he worked
in sales for Mobil Oil, and later as an agent for General Steamship Corporation. In
the 1950s, Duke formed his own publishing company, Pacific Railroad Publications; it later became Golden West Books, incorporated
in 1960. Duke published over a
hundred books on trains and railroads, written by himself or other railroad
historians. Many of the photographs and pieces of ephemera in this collection
appeared in Golden West Books publications. Duke also wrote articles for and edited
the Pacific Railway Journal and the Branding Iron quarterly for the Los Angeles Corral of
Westerners. He was a member of the Lexington Group of railroad historians, founding
member of Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California, and active in several
other train, rail and locomotive historical societies. He was a longtime reader at
the Huntington Library, where he bequeathed his collection of over 2,000 railroad
books and trade journals.
11,000 photographs in 43 boxes + 46 boxes of printed material and ephemera
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to
quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such
activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is
one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services
Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.