(Last October 28th, 2014)
The Library management comprises:
It is the policy of the Library to acquire books, magazines, photographs and other related materials pertaining to Canadian rail transportation systems with particular emphasis on those operating in the Ottawa area.
The Library is ideally positioned to accept and preserve collections or individual items depicting the history of Canadian rail transportation. Items concerning railways in the Ottawa area are particularly desired. The Library's relationship with the City of Ottawa Archives ensures that all of its valuable documents will receive the best possible care.
The Library will consider donations of material related to the aims of the Library. Cash donations are always welcome as they make possible the acquisition of materials to round out the collections. Donations are eligible for receipts for Canadian income tax purposes. Anyone wishing to make a donation should contact the Library for further information.
Parking is free to anyone using the facilities of the Library or the Archives.
The Reference Room desk is staffed by volunteers - sometimes Library members and sometimes others. If you experience any difficulties in accessing Library materials because of staff inexperience send your request or comments by e-mail and arrangements will be made to assist you.
The mailing address of the Library is:
C. Robert Craig Memorial Library,
City of Ottawa Archives,
c/o 110 Laurier Avenue West, Mail Code 443,
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1
Today there is a widespread interest in family history and the Library receives a regular flow of questions on how to trace a relative who either "worked for the railway", or was known to have been involved in accidents.
The Library does not hold any records which can assist in such searches. Employment records are the property of the companies and have rarely if ever been transferred to archives or other outside organizations. Today such information usually falls under the privacy laws which limit their dissemination and thus they are not readily available to the public.
Research into railway relatives, however, can be pursued through other channels. A guide to what can be done is: Canadian Railway Records, A Guide for Genealogists by Althea and J. Creighton Douglas, which may still be available from the publisher at:
The Ontario Genealogical Society, 40 Orchard View Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario, M4R 1B9
Local genealogical societies may be able to assist you in pursuing your research. They can often be located through the nearest public library. Indeed the local public librarian may well be the source for many other useful ideas and tips.
Canadian National has deposited much of its historical material with Library and Archives Canada, in Ottawa and they can be viewed there. You can consult the list of the Archives holdings. The Archives also maintains a genealogical desk which may be worth consulting. At their web site click on the "Services to the public" listing for more information on what the Archives can offer.
Canadian Pacific's employee records are not held by the CP Archives and they are not available for research purposes.
Ottawa area residents may wish to consult the Ottawa Branch of The Ontario Genealogical Society or the Societe franco-ontarienne d'histoire et de genealogie-Regionale Samuel-de-Champlain. Both organizations are co-located with the Library.
Good luck in your research.
Bob had a keen interest in railways as well as model railways and he amassed a large collection of books, magazines and photographs related to rail transportation. He had a phenomenal memory for the subject and was called upon frequently by his friends and acquaintances to answer questions regarding model railroading and prototype railroading. If he could not answer a question from memory he usually remembered where he had seen the information and would search it out. The Library attempts to carry on this tradition by providing reference materials to permit people to research the subject. Consequently the library collections are rich in material on the history of rail transportation and in the scale modelling of it.
Bob was one of seven founding members, in 1961, of the Ottawa Valley Associated Railroaders, (OVAR), an institution still thriving today. He supported it strongly throughout his lifetime.
All of his photographs, including the negatives for the black and white pictures, are now part of the Library's holdings.
The overall symbol of the herald is an open book with an open fold-out page surrounded by a circle bearing the Library's name.
The foldout page carries a photograph of the front of Canadian National Railway railcar #15817. The body of this railcar was one of nine built in 1925 by the Ottawa Car Manufacturing Company at its plant on the corner of Slater and Kent Streets in downtown Ottawa.
Two of the units, #15817 and #15818 were 102 foot long articulated units and the remaining seven were 60 foot single cars. The bodies were fitted with Beardmore diesel engines, National Steel Car trucks and electrical equipment from Westinghouse (articulated units) or British Thompson Houston (single units) at CN's Point St Charles shops in Montreal.
On September 19, 1925 Car # 15817 made an inaugural special run from Montreal to Ottawa via Coteau Junction, 110.2 miles in 2¼ hours. It entered regular service on September 28, 1925 as trains 85 & 86 between Montreal and Ottawa via St Eustache sur le Lac and Hawksbury. It was scheduled to leave Montreal at 8:20 am and arrive in Ottawa at 12:10. Ottawa departure was at 3:37 pm with arrival back in Montreal at 7:30 pm. A month later #15817 moved to Palmerston and was succeeded by #15918.
This series of cars were the first North American railcars to be powered by a combination of diesel engines and electric motors. Car #15817 remained in service until December 1942 when it was rebuilt to a trailer and renumbered 15773. Car #15818 suffered a similar fate in August 1944.
The Maple Leaf signifies the Canadian location and 1994 the year of the Library's foundation.
The Beardmore diesels so impressed Westinghouse that they purchased a licence and built them for railway use in the United States.
In June 1935 the Model Craftsman, now Railroad Model Craftsman, featured an article "An Articulated Train" with plans to build an "O' gauge #15817/8. Brass HO models of both CNR and CPR railcars and a Montreal and Southern Counties Railway car have been produced.
In 1931 and 1932 the Canadian Pacific railway received 6 railcars from the Ottawa Car Manufacturing Co. These were built to specifications and design of the Electromotive Company and powered by gasoline engines. However in mid-1935 a fire destroyed the engine in Car #9006 and it was replaced by a Harland and Wolff built diesel engine and became the first diesel-electric unit on the CPR.
Again, thank you for the many contributions and keep them coming!
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