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Mss:724 1831-1898 B747

Boston and Albany Railroad Co. Boston and Albany Railroad Co. Records, 1829-1916 (inclusive), 1831-1875 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Baker Library

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Harvard Business School, Boston, MA 02163
June 2011

© 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Baker Library, Harvard Business School
Call No.: Mss:724 1831-1898 B747
Creator: Boston and Albany Railroad Co.
Title: Boston and Albany Railroad Co. records 1829-1916 (inclusive), 1831-1875 (bulk)
Quantity: 114 linear feet (342 v., 69 boxes)
Abstract: The records of the Boston and Albany Railroad Co., its predecessors and branches, circa 1829 to 1916. Includes directors' records, stock records, transportation and engineering records and surveys, financial records, and correspondence.

Processing Information:

Processed: 2007; 2011
By: Kristy Sharpe, Tim Mahoney
The collection was reprocessed in 2007. Unbound records were refoldered and placed in appropriate storage containers. The original arrangement of these records was largely left unchanged, but oversized items were separated and unfolded for conservation purposes. The new location of these separated items is indicated in the collection inventory below.

Provenance:

Source: Boston and Albany Railroad, 1940-1942 and Miss T. H. Twichell.

Access Restrictions:

Appointment necessary to consult collection.

Alternative Form Available:

Volume A1: Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation: Minutes of directors' meetings, June 22, 1831 - February 21, 1835, is available as a digital surrogate.
Volume A11: Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation: Reports of directors to stockholders and legislature, January 8, 1833 - November 16, 1840, is available as a digital surrogate.
Volume B1: Western Rail-Road Corporation: Corporation records, March 8, 1833 - September 4, 1867, is available as a digital surrogate.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Boston and Albany Railroad Co. Records, Baker Library, Harvard Business School.

Historical Note:

The Boston and Albany Railroad Company resulted from the development and eventual merger of several railroad lines built to connect eastern Massachusetts with eastern New York state. The first of these railroad lines was the Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation, which was chartered in June 1831. Construction began in August 1832, and the full line between Boston and Worcester opened in July 1835. The Western Rail-Road Corporation was chartered in February 1833 to connect the Boston and Worcester Railroad to the New York state line. Construction of the eastern division of the railroad—from Worcester to the Connecticut River at Springfield—was completed between 1837 and 1839. The western division—from West Springfield to the state line at West Stockbridge—was completed in 1841.
The Albany and West Stockbridge Railroad Company was built to connect the Western Rail-Road line with Albany, New York. The New York state legislature first incorporated the Castleton and West Stockbridge Railroad Company in 1834. In 1836, another act of the New York legislature authorized a railroad line from the Hudson River at Greenbush to West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the company was renamed the Albany and West Stockbridge Railroad. Construction of the Albany and West Stockbridge Railroad was completed in 1842, and the line was leased to the Western Railroad.
The Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation and Western Rail-Road Corporation merged in 1867 to become the Boston and Albany Railroad Company. In December 1870, the Albany and West Stockbridge Railroad Company, along with the Hudson and Boston Railroad Corporation, merged with the new company, creating a united line from Boston to Albany. The Boston and Albany Railroad Company remained an independent line until 1900, when it was leased to the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company (later the New York Central Railroad.)
Several other branch railroads were part of the holdings of the Boston and Albany Railroad Company or its major predecessors. These included the Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad Corporation, the Hudson and Berkshire Railroad (later renamed the Hudson and Boston Railroad Corporation), the Ware River Railroad Company, and the Hudson and West Stockbridge Railroad.

Scope and Content Note:

The records date from 1829 to 1916, with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1830s to the 1870s. The records are organized by the various railroad companies that were predecessors or branches of the Boston and Albany Railroad Co. There is also a series of records that documents the post-merger activities of the Boston and Albany Railroad Co. The collection consists of 342 volumes of bound records, and sixty-nine boxes of loose papers.
The records for each railroad generally include directors' records and meeting minutes; stock records; transportation and engineering records and surveys; financial records, accounts, bills, and vouchers; legal records; and correspondence. The Western Rail-Road Corporation records comprise the largest series, followed by the Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation records.
Series Outline
The collection has been arranged into the following series:

Related Material

Baker Library Historical Collections also holds a 1927 Boston and Albany Railroad Co. photograph album. The album contains fifty-six black and white photographs that depict flood-damaged railroad tracks and bridges of the Boston and Albany Railroad Co. near Becket, Massachusetts. The photographs were taken in the aftermath of a catastrophic flood that hit eastern Canada and western New England on November 3 and 4, 1927. Call No. Mss:724 1927 B747 (HOLLIS Number : 009135076)

Detailed Description of the Collection

Additional catalog entries

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic databases. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.
Authors
Boston and Albany Railroad Co.
Subjects
White, George M. (George Miles)
Bliss, William, 1834-1907.
Chapin, Chester W. (Chester William), 1798-1883
Coffin, Stephen A.
Fairbanks, Stephen
Firth, John
Gilmore, Addison
McNeill, William Gibbs, 1801-1853
Mills, James
Power, G. C.
Quincy, Josiah, 1802-1882
Sargent, H. E.
Stevens, Courtenay Edward
Swift, W. H. (William Henry), 1800-1879
Twichell, Ginery, 1811-1883
Wales, Thomas Beale, 1776-1853
Whistler, George W. (George Washington), 1800-1849
Williams, G.
Albany and West Stockbridge Rail-Road Company
Boston and Albany Railroad Co.
Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation
Hudson and Berkshire Rail-Road Company
Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad Corporation
Ware River Railroad
Western Rail-Road Corporation
Railroads—Massachusetts.
Railroads—New York (State) Transportation.
Railroad engineering.
Ledgers. ftamc
Letters. ftamc
Minutes. ftamc
Payrolls. ftamc
Vouchers. ftamc

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