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Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company records

Creator: Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company

Date: 1826-2007 (bulk 1859-1995)

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Ms. Coll. 789

Unit ID: 218358

Abstract: Business records, maps and architectural & engineering drawings, photographs, and publications of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, predecessors, and over 600 subsidiaries. The collection also includes some records of Santa Fe hospitals. Other misc. materials donated by private individuals who worked for or were otherwise affiliated with the Santa Fe have been added to the collection.

Space Required/Quantity: 1700.82 cubic feet

Title (Main title): Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company records

Titles (Other):

  • Martin, Bill

Administrative History

Administrative History:

Originally chartered in January 11, 1859, under the name of Atchison & Topeka Railroad Company, the company changed its name to Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad on March 3, 1863. Construction on the railroad began in 1869 and the line from Topeka to the Colorado state line was opened December 23, 1873. The New Mexico Division was opened to Santa Fe on February 16, 1880. During the 1880s, the company merged with a number of smaller branch lines and divisions and built five new extensions. The company also maintained a land department which sold off unused portions of the generous land grant supplied by Congress in the 1860s.

In December 1893, the company asked for the appointment of receivers in anticipation of its inability to pay forthcoming financial commitments. J. W. Reinhart, Boston (replaced by Aldace F. Walker in September 1894), J. J. McCook, New York, and J. C. Wilson, Topeka were chosen to draw up the plan of reorganization. The railroad defaulted on their loan payments in January 1894. Committees were formed to look after the interests of the bondholders, and in March 1895, company assets were sold to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway System.

When the Atchison & Topeka Railroad incorporated in 1859, corporate offices and the majority of the original investors--including the first president, Henry Strong--resided in Boston, Massachusetts. Over the years, however, new officers were located in New York City and Topeka, Kansas as well as Boston. Eventually, the company maintained offices in those three cities. The financial office remained in Boston. After the company restructured in 1895, all administrative functions were consolidated and located in Chicago.

Scope and Content

Scope and content:

The Kansas Historical Society houses over 1700 cubic feet of business records of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad (AT&SF).  These date from ca. 1860 to 1996.  The AT&SF absorbed many smaller rail lines in its history, and the records of these organizations, along with non-railroad subsidiaries, were merged into the records of AT&SF. The records are organized, like most business records, by originating office and type of record. The collection also includes some records of Santa Fe hospitals. Records are in four distinct formats: textual records, maps and drawings, photographs, and publications.
Maps and drawings include architectural renderings, engineering schematics, and maps of cities and railroad lines; as well as a large photographic collection, including publicity shots, stills from the movie "Harvey Girls," and staged photographs of the southwest United States, intended to promote tourism. Some of the publications from the collection include "Splinters," Santa Fe Magazine, and War Bonnet.

Added to the collection are other miscellaneous materials donated by private individuals who worked for or were otherwise affiliated with the AT&SF.

Textual records

            The bulk of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway collection consists of the company’s business records; these are organized, like most business records, by originating office and type of record.  Minutes of the Board of Directors begin in 1860.  They document meetings and the decisions made therein.  Contracts are copies of legal agreements entered into by AT&SF.  They are arranged by the contract number. Annual reports are yearly summaries of company activities and dates range from as early as 1871 to 1996.  Also included are deeds and survey records for railroad grant lands.  Payroll books are also included in the collection.  These document payments to employees of AT&SF.  They are arranged by date, then railroad division, then job title, then location.  A name alone will be insufficient to locate an employee’s pay records.  The company also kept its own history files documenting events that it deemed of importance to the company’s institutional memory.  The collection also includes some records of Santa Fe hospitals.
 
Maps and Drawings

            Primary holdings in this category are architectural renderings, construction & right of way maps, construction & right of way maps, engineering schematics, and maps of cities & railroad lines of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway, its predecessors, and subsidiaries; included are general maps showing cities, states, & regions and maps of other railroads   Maps of railroad lines show the breadth of the AT&SF railroad at various points in history and include actual and proposed routes of the railroad. City plat maps were often gathered for information purposes when the AT&SF entered a town or built one; proposed, original, & revised site plans are included.  Depot plans are the architectural renderings and original construction documents of the many depots along the AT&SF lines.  In many cases, plans for building additions are included as well. Bridge plans are engineering schematics detailing construction of railroad bridges along the AT&SF lines. Car construction drawings are schematics of nearly every car and engine that AT&SF produced.  They are arranged by number.
 
Photographs

            Many of the photographs in the collection were produced for publicity purposes.  Included are standard publicity shots of trains, buildings, and personnel such as engine photos, construction photos, and photos of completed depots.  Engine photos are organized by engine number.  Also included are staged photographs of the southwest United States, intended to promote tourism.  Stills from the MGM film Harvey Girls are included in the collection, however KHS does not have the rights to reproduce the film stills.  There are quite a few pictures of World War II servicemen in AT&SF trains.  There are also many pictures of the 1951 flood in the collection
 
Publications

            The AT&SF collection contains three primary publications by the company, “Splinters”, Santa Fe Magazine, and War Bonnet.  “Splinters” is an internal document that has history of the company and historical correspondence.  It has been microfilmed and is available for interlibrary loan.  The collection also contains a full set of Santa Fe Magazine, the employee publication.  War Bonnet is the publicity-oriented magazine for the public at large.
 
  
Please note that the Kansas Historical Society does not have Fred Harvey Company records aside from microfilm of financial records.  Fred Harvey records are in several Arizona repositories.  Consider starting with:
 
Harold S. Colton Memorial Research Library
3101 N. Valley Road, Northern Arizona Univ.
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
(928) 774-5211, ext. 256
 
Heard Museum  
2301 N. Central Avenue (Central & Encanto)
Phoenix, Arizona 85004 
(602) 252-8848

Contents: Textual records, 1850-1992, ca. 410 ft. (762 boxes + 405 v., 9 microfilm reels, 69 items, 94 folders, oversize material), http://www.kshs.org/archives/83000 -- ATSF maps and plans, 1826-1994 (ca. 6980 items), http://www.kshs.org/archives/77000 -- Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe corporate photo collection, http://www.kshs.org/archives/58000 -- audio-visual materials -- publications.

Specific Contents Identified:

Headings or descriptors assigned to subsections of the material, for example labels on a particular box or group of boxes.

  • 1894C-1899: Payment ledgers
  • A few oversize photographs
  • AT&SF Archivist files (Kansas State Historical Society records)
  • Architectural drawings and maps of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company facilities at Albuquerque, N.M., 1907-1984. Item list available.
  • Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad purchasing list, 1860's - 1902.
  • Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company training manuals, 1987-1992.
  • Box RR 1383: printed materials and new accessions to collection, including from private donors
  • Cash volumes
  • Demonstration trains oversize materials; plans and drawings
  • Drawings

Microfilm:

  • MF 1844: Files of Asst. Secretary Victor Morawetz-Press Books 1903-1919
  • MF 1845: Files of Asst. Secretary Victor Morawetz-Press Books 1903-1919
  • MF 1846: Files of Asst. Secretary Victor Morawetz-Press Books 1903-1919
  • MF 1847: Files of Asst. Secretary Victor Morawetz-Press Books 1903-1919
  • MF 2237: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL. 236-VOL. 237
  • MF 2238: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL. 238-VOL. 239
  • MF 2239: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.240 - VOL 241
  • MF 2240: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.242 - VOL 243
  • MF 2241: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.244 - VOL 245
  • MF 2242: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.246 - VOL 247
  • MF 2243: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.248 - VOL 249
  • MF 2244: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.250 - VOL 251
  • MF 2245: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.252 - VOL 253
  • MF 2246: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.254 - VOL 255
  • MF 2247: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.256 - VOL 257
  • MF 2248: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.258 - VOL 259
  • MF 2249: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.260 - VOL 261
  • MF 2250: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.262 - VOL 263
  • MF 2251: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.264 - VOL 265
  • MF 2252: LETTER PRESS BOOKS VOL.266 - VOL 271
Complete microfilm list

Bibliography

Finding Aid Bibliography:

"Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Records, 1879-1896." Baker Library, Harvard Business School. http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/sfa/atchison,_topeka.htm (accessed 30 September 2009).

Shirley, Beth. "A Brief Summary of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad Records at the Kansas Historical Society." Kansas State Historical Society, 2008.

Index Terms

Subjects

    Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad Company -- Records and correspondence
    Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company -- Records and correspondence
    United States
    Railroad companies -- United States
    Railroad engineering -- United States
    Railroad land grants -- United States
    Railroads

Creators and Contributors


Agency Classification:

    Organizations/Corporations. Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad.

Additional Information for Researchers

Use and reproduction: Information on copyright available from the Kansas Historical Society (Topeka) (KHS). KHS does not have the rights to reproduce the film stills from the "Harvey Girls" movie.

Action note: Scope & Content Note and Series Descriptions written by Elizabeth Shirley, Barnes intern, 2008.