RICHMOND, Va. — Norfolk Southern has donated the entire Norfolk & Western corporate archive to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, along with $750,000 to help maintain it. The collection dates 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 N&W and its predecessor roads.
“The Commonwealth of Virginia has played a pivotal role in our history, and we are incredibly proud of the contributions it has made to our success,” said Jim Squires, Chairman and CEO of Norfolk Southern. “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.”
“Railroads have played a critical role in the expansion of both passenger travel and commercial transportation in the United States,” said VMHC President and CEO Jamie Bosket. “With the addition of the Norfolk and Western collection, the VMHC now houses one of the most significant railroad archives in the U.S. We’re thrilled to preserve this iconic history and to make it publicly available to students and teachers, researchers, and railroad enthusiasts.”
The $750,000 grant that NS is also giving will allow the VMHC to digitize, catalog and preserve the collection. As part of the donation, Norfolk Southern has created a special fund to allow the VHMC to hire interns from underrepresented communities to support the museum’s work annually for the next five years, beginning this coming fall academic semester.