Campus: Fresno State -- March 30, 2006
California railroad history collection is newest gift to
university's Henry Madden Library
A 700-book collection tracing the history of California railroads from
their inception in the 19th century has been donated to the Henry Madden
Library at California State University, Fresno by the family of the
late railroad fan, author and alumnus J.L. “Jack” Krieger.
With publications dating from 1896, the Krieger collection contains
virtually every book about California railroads published in the past
50 years. It is very strong on railroads of the western United States
and Canada. Many of the books were published in very small print runs
and are quite rare. Preliminary estimates place the collection’s
value at $30,000-$50,000, not including hundreds of railroading magazines.
“This is a significant gift that provides us with an instant research
collection on railroading in California and the West,” said David
Tyckoson, head of public services at the Madden Library.
Krieger had a devoted interest in railroading. He traveled widely, collecting
books and artifacts and filling a 1,000 square-foot building with O-scale
(1/48th actual size) model railroads. He also worked briefly for the
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway between high school and Fresno
State College and as a train order dispatcher after retirement from
a 25-year career teaching math and science in Hanford elementary and
junior high schools. Krieger died in 2004.
Krieger was an expert on the Santa Fe (now Burlington Northern Santa
Fe Railway) in the San Joaquin Valley and wrote the definitive book
on the subject, “Valley Division Vignettes,” published in
1983. The book traces the rail line from its origins as an independent
trying to secure cheaper freight rates for Valley shippers than those
offered by Southern Pacific.
Krieger’s wife, Elaine, also a Fresno State graduate, and their
children, Karen and John, donated the collection. “The family
knew that this was a very good collection and did not want to break
it up,” said Tyckoson. “They always had Fresno State in
mind. By donating to the Madden Library, they ensured that it would
be in a location where others could use it.”
Until construction of the new library building is completed, the collection
may be seen by appointment by contacting Marcie Morrison, library development
officer, by telephone (559.278-4051), fax (559.278-6952) or e-mail (email@example.com).
The Madden Library always is interested in obtaining significant collections
and donations. Contact Morrison for additional information.
Contact: Lanny Larson, 559.278.4620 or 559.278.2795