About the Gardiner Collection
The photographs in this exhibit were scanned from a collection assembled by San Francisco Bay Area transportation historian and railway employee William Everard Gardiner (1869-1949). Born in Cedar County, Iowa, Gardiner worked for the San Francisco-Oakland Terminal Railways and later the Key System, which took over the Terminal Railways in 1924. He is listed as Chief Instructor and Superintendent of Schedules in the 1920s. Gardiner was an early member of the Pacific Railway Club (est. 1917) and Railway and Locomotive Historical Society (est. 1925). He was also a photographer, and the collection contains negatives and prints made by him, along with skilled reproductions of older images. This exhibition contains a mix of photos by him and many that are clearly not, as well as several that may not have ever been in his possession originally. There are few attributions for photographers, but many contain descriptive captions in his hand. Gardiner's collection also contains copious notes, manuscripts and typescripts, correspondence, scrapbooks, newspaper & magazine clippings (primarily 1920s Oakland Tribune articles), and ephemera including many examples of train tickets, souvenirs, and personal items. The finding aid for his collection can be found here, and the catalog record here.
About the Hopkins Transportation Collection
The following is a description of the Hopkins Transportation Library from Stanford librarian Nathan Van Patten in 1937:
The Hopkins Railway Library was established in 1892 when Timothy Hopkins presented to Stanford University his private collection of railway literature which had been brought together while he was treasurer of the Central Pacific Railroad Company and the Southern Pacific Company. This collection comprised about two thousand volumes and pamphlets. Mr. Hopkins continued his interest in the development of the Hopkins Railway Library until his death in 1937. The future of the library has been provided for under the terms of Mr. Hopkins' will. During the forty-five years of its existence the library has grown steadily through purchases, gifts, and exchanges so that it now contains over ten thousand items. The present collection is exceptionally rich in American railway reports, railway periodicals, and works relating to the economics, law, construction, equipment, and operation of railways. In 1936 the name of the Hopkins Railway Library was changed to the Hopkins Transportation Library and its scope enlarged to include the history, economics, and engineering aspects of all forms of transportation and communication. This change was made at Mr. Hopkins' suggestion. The present plans for the expansion of the library represent an attempt to carry out his wishes. The Hopkins Transportation Library will actually represent in the future a continuation of Mr. Hopkins' lifelong interest in American transportation.
Although new acquisitions to the Hopkins Transportation Library ceased around 1960, Stanford has continued to collect related material; the archives of Road & Track magazine for instance (see the Automobility Archive exhibit), as well as the voluminous records of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Over time, much of the Library's non-bibliographic holdings were transferred to Stanford Library's Special Collections, many bearing the title of Hopkins Transportation Collection. It should be noted that divisions between individual collections are somewhat arbitrary, and interested researchers are encouraged to browse widely. An almost complete list of the former Hopkins Transportation Library (only some books, and not cross-checked with older lists such the 1937 index), can be found in our catalog here.
A few notable collections originating from the Hopkins Transportation Library (besides Gardiner):
- Amy White photograph album of the American West 1871 (scanned and available online)
- photograph album of the Central Pacific trans-Sierra line in winter 1890, attributed to Taber (bound for Timothy Hopkins & given to the Library by Mrs. Hopkins -- scanned and online hopefully soon)
- Alfred A. Hart photographs, 1862-1869 (see the Transcontinental Railroad exhibit)
- Western Highway Institute Historical Collection, 1888-1960 (selected scans online sometime hopefully)