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William Keirce papers

Identifier: 2003_085-UA

Consists of train-related photographs, periodicals, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, postcards, and other ephemeral materials, in addition to personal papers. Many of the photographs were taken by Keirce, or by fellow railfan George Yater, and cover Louisville-area lines as well as Pittsburgh interurbans, which were of particular interest to Dr. Keirce. Personal papers include correspondence, including railfan club mailings; papers written as a student; and drafts of articles on rail-related topics written in Dr. Keirce's adulthood. Most of the articles and papers were written (or are presumed to have been written) by Keirce; the author, if other than Keirce, is noted in the folder title. Includes issues of Trains magazine (1940-2003) and Railroader magazine (1930-2000) collected by William Keirce.


  • 1930-2003



33.25 linear feet

Biographical / Historical

William F. Keirce, Jr. was born on February 23, 1923 in Louisville, Kentucky to Regina and William F. Keirce, Sr. He graduated from the University of Louisville's Speed School in 1943, and received a master's from UofL's graduate school in 1949. He received his PhD in English from Duke University in 1964, and taught at Purdue University. He became a railfan at an early age, and sustained this interest throughout his life. His interests in trains and trolleys was expressed in many forms, including excursions to explore and document particular routes; school papers, articles and book chapters recounting histories and personal experiences of train travel; drawings and paintings of trains; and well-documented photographs. He also built a substantial book collection relating to trains, streetcars/trolleys.

Description Note

In some cases, Keirce provided a title for a set of materials, written on a folder or other enclosure. These titles have been retained, in quotes, and supplemented when needed.



William Keirce Papers
In Progress
Carrie Daniels
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

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