Civil War Philadelphia and Its Countryside

Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
33rd and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 215-895-2755   

Hours/Access Policy  For Library hours, please consult the website:

Contact Information    Drexel University Libraries, Drexel University Libraries, 33rd and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 215-895-2755. Rob Sieczkiewicz, University Archivist,

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The Drexel University Libraries is a learning enterprise. Library staff advance the University’s academic mission by being educators; supporting education and research through services that provide convenient, reliable, efficient, and cost effective access to information resources; collaborating with researchers on informatics and data curation issues; fostering intentional learning outside of the classroom in both physical and virtual spaces. In all of their work to advance the University’s mission, library staff employ purposeful design, thoughtful assessment, and continuous quality improvement.

The Drexel University Archives and Special Collections acquires, preserves and makes available records, manuscripts, visual materials, and publications related to the history of Drexel University.  The archives has material related to Drexel’s founders as well as Drexel students, faculty, academic departments, administrative offices, and campus organizations. The special collections house rare books, historical manuscripts, and other materials donated by the patrons of Drexel.

Civil War Collection
The Archives and special Collections contains the papers of Frank Thomson (1841-1899), was a senior administrator of the Pennsylvania Railroad and its president from 1897 to 1899.  The collection documents his career on the railroad, beginning with his service with the United States Military Railroads in the South during the Civil War, detailing an official state visit by the Russian Grand Duke Alexis, and ending with his promotion to president of the Pennsylvania Railroad and his death in 1899.  Records include Mr. Thomson’s personal and business correspondence; material such as timetables, tickets, maps, and publications relating to the U.S. Military Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad; various printed matter; and several photographs and drawings.

Reference Sources
More information about the Thomson papers, including a finding aid, is available here:

This project has been generously supported by the Honorable Larry Farnese, PA Senator, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,
the Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Samuel S. Fels Fund.


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About the Guide Civil War in Philadelphia Philadelphia Collections Notes for Researchers