The Kalmbach Library Collection

The Library is home to over 7,000 books and manuals, 50,000 magazines, 100,000 photographic images, 900 videos, thousands of prototype drawings, as well as timetables, maps, and audio recordings.

Photo Collection

The collection encompasses photos from many private individuals and is a great tool for modelers and prototype enthusiasts. We can furnish listings from our photo collection on any subject, or combination of subjects, such as a type of equipment, a particular railroad, or a city/state. We can do so in PDF format and email it to you. The Miller Negative Collection and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Collection are also included in these searches.

The following are examples of what you can expect:
By railroad: New York Central and Santa Fe.
By type of equipment: Refrigerator cars.
By combination: Northern Pacific steam engines and tenders.
By location: Kansas City, MO.

There is no charge for emailed PDF listings; just send an inquiry to KMLResearchDesk at (replace "at" with @ and remove spaces). If you want a printed version the cost is $0.10 per page plus shipping. For prices and print sizes please see Service Fees. Note that we can also scan photos onto CD's. Unlesss you request otherwise we will scan images at 600 dpi with a target width of 10 inches and saved as TIFF files.

Book Holdings

The library is currently working on an accessible online database of the books in our collection. Car and Locomotive Cyclopedias from the early 1900s to the present, Railroad atlases from the late 1800s, over 1,300 operation manuals, and signed, first-edition books are just a few of the great items available for research.

The Kentlein Porter Collection

Contains over 780 builders photos, catalogs, blueprints and other data chronicling the history of the premier industrial locomotive manufacturer. If you are interested in Porter locomotives, please see our reprint of the 13th catalog Porter Steam Locomotives, Light and Heavy in the Publications section. The book contains a roster of Porter locomotives by construction number. Those listings marked in red are locomotives that the library has pictures of in the collection. To order simply contact us with loco information and specify what size print you want. See our Service Fees for sizes, formats and prices (and publication fee, if applicable). Note that pre-payment in the form of a check, money order or credit card is required for all photo orders. Shipping price depends on weight and destination, so please contact us before mailing payment.

The Bruce Meyer Collection

This collection contains over 1,400 EMD paint scheme drawings from various railroads, operation manuals and other diesel locomotive items.

The Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Drawings

Contains an estimated 12,000 builder's blueprints of technical engine parts, locomotive diagrams, and structures. This collection is also in the process of being cataloged.

The Miller Negative Collection

This collection includes 4,347 images representing 110 railroads. Developed by Harold B. "Dusty" Miller, it covers the years 1934-41 and therefore documents the peak of steam power development. All views are static, and in some cases show the locomotive in stored or partially dismantled condition. The bulk of the images are of western roads, with particular emphasis on the Southern Pacific, Santa Fe and Western Pacific. Some of these photographs were highlighted in the book Steam on the Feather River Route.

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Collection

Named for our museum neighbor who donated the collection, these photographs are in the process of being cataloged and contain thousands of images of southern steam and traction railroads, many dating back to the early 1900s.

The Walthers Collection

Over 1,900 model manufacturers are represented by catalogs and kit instructions in this collection. If you have a kit without the instructions, we may be able to send you a copy from one of ours. Catalogs and price sheets also provide valuable information.


  • Periodical Titles
  • Railroad Gazette
  • Railway Age
  • Official Railway Equipment Registers
  • Official Intermodal Equipment Registers
  • Official Registers of Passenger Train Equipment
  • Official Guides of the Railways