AKCHO tracks PNRA’s progress – February membership meeting

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AKCHO members were treated to a tour of a brand spanking-new facility when the Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive hosted AKCHO’s February membership meeting as the Archive’s inaugural event on Tuesday, February 26.

The PNRA is a consortium of four non-profit Railroad History Organizations (RHOs). They include the Great Northern Railway Historical Society, Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association, Cascade Rail Foundation (representing the Milwaukee Road in Washington State), and the Boeing Employee Model Railroad Club, all of whose missions involve preserving the history of railroads and contributing to an understanding of the role railroads played in developing the United States.

Through PNRA, the RHOs share expenses and have developed an affordable space in Burien to preserve the histories of the railroads both physically and digitally.  PNRA bought the 7,500-square-foot facility, a former plumbing supply store, in 2010 and has remodeled it extensively. AKCHO members were shown the collections as well as a dedicated space for a new HO-scale layout.

PNRA executive director Gary Tarbox discussed the common mission the RHOs share of preserving railroad history and contributing to an understanding of the role railroads have played in developing the United States. The Archive hosts substantial records that railroads kept of routes and depots throughout the United States, and PNRA president Bob Kelly demonstrated how to access photos and other materials on the PNRA website.

At this point, PNRA is entirely volunteer-run, although the organization hires professional consultants to conduct training and ensure that policies and procedures conform to best-practice standards.

The Archive is funded from operating revenues, individual contributions, and grants. One revenue stream derives from PNRA’s online store of railroad-related merchandise. In addition, PNRA offers fulfillment services to other non-profit organization’s online stores at about a third the cost of commercially-run services.


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Heritage Advisor is published by the Association of King County Historical Organizations as a service to members and those who support its mission. We update our website continually throughout the month, and on the first of every month we e-mail a condensed version of Heritage Advisor to our mailing list – you can subscribe to this service by filling out the requested information in the right sidebar on this page.

AKCHO was established in 1977 to encourage cooperation among historical organizations; promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve; and support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

The Heritage Advisor welcomes submissions of news items, calendar items, and opinion columns from AKCHO members, HA subscribers, and readers. Articles are limited to 300 words and they should have a strong relevance to historic preservation and heritage issues in King County, Washington. Submission of an article does not guarantee publication. AKCHO does not pay for published submissions. All articles are subject to review by AKCHO staff. Please send your article within the body of an email (no attachments, please) to heritageadvisor@akcho.org.

AKCHO welcomes new members year round. Individual memberships are $15. Organization memberships are $35. Join more than 150 individuals and organizations supporting heritage work and historic preservation in King County. For more information and an application form, visit http://www.akcho.org/members.


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AKCHO was established to encourage cooperation among historical organizations and to promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve, and to support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

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