John F. Bjorklund Collection
All 99 boxes and 55,000 color slides of the Center’s John F. Bjorklund Collection, a gift of his widow, Rose. Bjorklund wrote the location and date on the mount of every slide. The collection is a trove of information and imagery, dating from the 1960s to the 2000s and spanning the entirety of the United States and Canada. Photograph by Jeff Mast.

The Center conducts its preservation activities both in house and in concert with the Lake Forest College Library Archives and Special Collections, whose agreement with the Center states that the Library “has a recognized heritage of stewardship over more than a century.” The Library considers the Center “a partner in promoting its railroad photographic holdings,” which the Center amplifies with materials it has acquired from nationally known railroad photographers together with non-photographic works of railroad art. The agreement notes “through the Center’s efforts the College library’s collections have gained recognition as a nationally significant repository of railroad photography.” The Special Collections division processes and conserves collections, often with financial support generated by the Center, and cooperates with the Center in publication of all its railroad holdings.

Highlights include:

  • Ted Rose Collection, approximately 4,400 black-and-white negatives, acquired in 2006
  • Wallace W. Abbey Collection, approximately 25,000 black-and-white negatives and 8,000 color slides, acquired in 2010
  • John F. Bjorklund Collection, 55,000 color slides, acquired in 2011
  • Hal Lewis Collection, extent unknown, acquired in 2011
  • Fred M. Springer Collection, approximately 8,000 black-and-white negatives and 80,000 color slides, acquired in 2011
  • Additionally, the Center assisted Lake Forest College in identifying and describing photographs in its Arthur Dubin Collection, with more than 400 examples available on

Download the Center’s Collections Management Policy (206 KB PDF file), prepared by the Collections and Acquisitions Committee and adopted by the full board of directors in November 2014.