Library and Archive

Travel Town Archive

The Museum maintains an archival collection of photographs, documents, ephemera and other significant artifacts pertaining to railroad history.  We place a particular emphasis on items related to the cars and locomotives in the Travel Town Museum Collection and to materials concerning the great impact that railroads have had on the development of Los Angeles and its surroundings.  We welcome donations of additional items as well as research inquiries or questions about railroad history.

Hershel H. O’Dell Research Library

Several generous contributions of books and other printed materials have enabled the Foundation to establish the Hershel H. O’Dell Research Library as part of our Travel Town Volunteer Center.  The library includes a wide variety of publications that encompass many aspects of railroad history, operations, technology and folklore.  The non-circulating collection is used primarily by our museum volunteers and is available to outside research inquiries by appointment.   We welcome donations of railroad books and other artifacts.

Who Was Hershel O’Dell?

Hershel Humes O’Dell, known affectionately as “Hut” to his friends and family, was a Bridge & Building Carpenter who worked for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway in Arkansas during the 1920s and 30s. He was just a regular guy, working hard to support his young family – like so many others who labored on America’s railroads in that period of great growth and development in our nation. While ‘Hut’ himself passed away long before the establishment of Travel Town, his legacy has had a profound impact on our Museum Foundation – with 4 generations of Hershel’s family members having played an active roll in establishing the Foundation and/or later volunteering at the Museum.


Do you have a question about railroad history?  Please email us at the link above.

If you have any have railroad memorabilia or vintage photos you would like to donate to the Travel Town Archive or Library, please visit our Contribution Page to find how and to learn about our guidelines.

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