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Norfolk Southern donates Norfolk and Western Railway archives, $750,000 to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Richmond, Va. - Apr 06, 2022


Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) today announced its donation of the complete collection of historical documents and archives from predecessor company Norfolk and Western Railway to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC).

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 predecessor railroads that together provide a fascinating look into the growth of rail transportation across the eastern United States. The company will also donate $750,000 to support the collection in perpetuity.

“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.”

Norfolk and Western originated as a nine-mile single-track line in 1838 to connect Petersburg and City Point (now Hopewell), Virginia. In the years to follow, more than 200 railroad companies were built, merged, reorganized, and consolidated until the company merged with Southern Railway in 1982 to create Norfolk Southern. Since then, Norfolk Southern has grown to become one of the nation’s largest freight railroads and premier transportation companies. In total, the archives represent the history of Norfolk and Western and its predecessor companies.

“Railroads have played a critical role in the expansion of both passenger travel and commercial transportation in the United States,” said VMHC President & 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 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.

Among the historic materials in the archives are publicity materials including radio program scripts and posters, timetables, and rolling stock records as well as advertisements, contracts, an extensive collection of photographs, and construction plans for rail stations and yards.

About Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies, moving the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Norfolk Southern connects customers to markets and communities to economic opportunity, with safe, reliable, and sustainable shipping solutions. The company’s service area includes 22 states and the District of Columbia, every major container port in the eastern United States, and a majority of the U.S. population and manufacturing base.

Norfolk Southern Media Inquiries:
Media Relations, 404-420-4444

About the Virginia Museum of History & Culture
The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society - a private, non-profit organization established in 1831. The historical society is the oldest cultural organization in Virginia, and one of the oldest and most distinguished history organizations in the nation. For use in its state history museum and its renowned research library, the historical society cares for a collection of nearly nine million items representing the ever-evolving story of Virginia.

VMHC Media Inquiries:
Tracy Schneider, VP for Marketing & Communications
tschneider@VirginiaHistory,org, 804.342.9661