ICC document collection at Denver University

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Feb 15 03:18:56 EST 2005

Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 05:24:28 -0600 
Subject: ICC document collection at Denver University

I am researching the historical relationship between
the railroads and Appalachian development patterns and
poverty, as a critique of the going paradigm in
economic geography.   Being in Denver for the
holidays, I naturally wanted to check out the Denver
University collection of ICC documents.

I share some pointers about this huge document
collection.  The most important is to contact
Christopher Brown of the Penrose Library before going
to Denver or the University, to make sure he can
assist you when you are there.

cbrown at du.edu
Telephone:  303 871 3404

Let him know as specifically as possible what kind of
information you hope to find.  Anticipating with some
time a sure visit on your part, he could be attentive
to your needs before you arrive, for example putting
an eye out for relevant documents while they are

He is a very informative and helpful reference
librarian, in charge of governmental documents.

Additional tips:
DON¨T take advantage of holiday or vacation periods
(when the people in the know are absent or are very
occupied), as I did;
DON¨T take the reference clerks word for anything in
the Law Library (where I started, unfortunately);
DON´T be discouraged by finding a sizeable collection
on ICC (including all the annual reports, some books
about the ICC and the like; which many law libraries
around the country should have) in the Law Library and
being given a resounding "no" to my entreaty that
there must be a lot more than this in the University.

The immense collection was moved from Washington in
1996, and the Penrose Library just now getting rolling
on the cataloging, going full speed 
during five months to date.   This will take several
years.  They are starting with the numerous books, are
using empty and accessible shelf space for journals
and some governmental documents which will 
then be cataloged, and the rest including archival
materials (about 20% of the total collection) is in
boxes and will be last.  Apparently (I didn´t have
time to check), there is a complete collection of
state utility annual reports of all the States, at the
Colorado Supreme Court library.   The DU collection
has fairly complete collections for 
some States (not Appalachian States from what I could

For my needs, Christopher showed me a collection of
documents with primary data regarding cases (mostly
cross references from the annual reports), in
the Penrose library (not the Law Library).   And his
library has lots of governmental technical reports on
specific subjects, like pricing of coal transport.  
This material predates and was cataloged before the 
arrival of the huge document collection which they are
getting their teeth into.

Since I didn´t get to Christopher until the day before
my departure, I was limited in time to really get into
the collection.   If you have questions I
might be able to answer, check with me at
warren13 at racsa.co.cr (Costa Rica).  But Christopher
Brown is a much more reliable source at this point.

February 15, 2005

Thanks for your summary on how to access the ICC
historical collection.  Two libraries in each state
used to be --and I suppose they still are, even in
this electronic age-- depositories of federally-issued
reports.  Such things such as agency and commission
annual reports and the Congressional Record are found
in these libraries.  The reference librarian should be
able to steer a researcher to the closest one.

Regrettably, your name was omitted from the email, but
I appreciate your sharing this information.  I'll keep
this in mind on a future visit to the Mile-High City.

Best wishes,

Dr. Frank R. Scheer, Curator
Railway Mail Service Library, Inc.
f_scheer at yahoo.com
(202) 268-2121 - weekday office
(540) 837-9090 - weekend afternoons 
in the former N&W station on VA rte 723 
117 East Main Street 
Boyce  VA  22620-9639
Visit at http://www.railwaymailservicelibrary.org

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