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Ernie Gibson rail and trolley collection

Identifier: 2008_004-UA

Includes books, clippings, logs, schedules, and other materials relating to railroads and public transit (particularly street/electric rail), primarily from the 20th century. Much of the material relates to the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company, but other companies (and regions of the country) are represented as well. Boxes three and four consist of books.


  • 1872-1988


Restrictions on Access

No restrictions.


6.25 linear feet (5 boxes, oversized bound volumes)

Biographical sketch

Ernest “Ernie” K. Gibson, 1923-1989, was a Louisvillian interested in documenting the history of railroad and transit history. He was a voracious collector of historical railroad documents, especially of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, as well as other lines. As early as 1941, he traveled widely on rail and trolley fan trips within the U. S. and Canada where he collected materials on the transit systems and railroads in those cities. In some cases, he created informal electric line route maps.

For a brief time as a young man, Gibson worked as a fireman on the Southern Railway line between Louisville and Danville. Later, he worked as a motorman for the Louisville Railway Company and retired as chief clerk of the L&N Railroad Company. He appears to have used his knowledge and access gained through those transportation jobs to collect additional historical records. He was a member of Victory Memorial Baptist Church.

Related Materials

The University of Louisville Photographic Archives holds a large number of Ernie Gibson railroad and electric rail photographs.


Ernie Gibson Rail and Trolley Collection
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752