Rails Across the Continent: Digitized Maps of American Railroad Expansion

Material Description

Histories of transportation, communication and settlement of the United States are closely connected to railroad lines and railroad companies. As railroads were built and tracks traversed the continent, maps of rail routes, rail lands and rail yards became crucially important for clocking progress, managing assets and both promoting and protecting properties. The Rails Across the Continent project will digitize an estimated 600 historical railroad maps in the collections of the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ John W. Barringer III National Railroad Library and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Archives & Special Collections. The project is estimated to take 3 years. The maps will complement the digitized railroad maps in the Library of Congress’ American Memory project and will offer the public and scholars significant visual resources relating to railroad lands and routes.

Year Added:



Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Ms. Katherine Walter
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Mr. Nicholas (Nick)


Collaborating Institution(s)

University of Missouri St. Louis

Date Range

1836 - 1945

Geographic Scope



  • 600 Maps