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Reading Company records

1795-1979
 Collection
Identifier: 1520

Abstract

Chartered in 1871, Reading Company was the holding company for the system of railroads, canals and coal mines assembled by the predecessor Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company between 1833 and 1896. The collection consists of the corporate records of the Reading Company (1871-1976), the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company (1833-1896), the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company (1896-1923), and 159 predecessors and subsidiaries.

Dates

  • 1795-1979

Creator

Extent

1,131 Linear Feet

Historical Note

Chartered in 1871 as the Excelsior Enterprise Company, Reading Company became the holding company for the system of railroads, canals and coal mines assembled by the predecessor Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company between 1833 and 1896. As a result of anti-trust proceedings, the Reading Company divested itself of its mining subsidiary in 1923 and became an operating company for its rail properties. After bankruptcy in the early 1970s, viable portions of the rail network were conveyed to Conrail on April 1, 1976. The reorganized Reading Company retains real estate and other non-rail assets.

Arrangement

Part I. Parent company and predecessors (1833-1976)

Part II. Subsidiary and associated companies (1795-1976)

Part III. Subject files (1861-1957)

Part IV. Miscellaneous (1825-1969)

Scope and Content

The collection consists of the corporate records of the Reading Company (1871-1976), the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company (1833-1896), the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company (1896-1923), and 159 predecessors and subsidiaries. Record types include minutes, account books, securities records, reports and agreements. Departmental records are available for the parent company, primarily from the various officers of the Operating Department, the Legal Department, the Secretary and Treasurer. Fragments of presidential correspondence are also available, especially for J.S. Harris and A.A. McLeod. Departmental records contain abundant detail on operating, technical and labor matters, with coverage relatively complete for the 1860-1914 period. Of special interest are papers relating to the Molly Maguires in the 1870s.

Existence and Location of Copies

A selection of material on the Molly Maguires was digitized and is available online in the Digital Archives.

Access Restrictions

Records subject to 25-year time seal from the date of creation due to privacy/security reasons.

Litigators may not view the collection without approval.

Use Restrictions

Literary rights retained by Reading Company.

Related Material

Reading Company loan collection (RR1978:3), Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg, Pennsylvania.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Provenance

On Deposit from the Reading Company.

Separated Materials

Reading Company photographs (Accession 1975.430), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Subjects

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Reading Company records
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400