On Monday, May 10, Governor Phil Bredesen signed into law a bill which designates the A.C. Kalmbach Memorial Library of Chattanooga as an “Official Railroad Library of the State of Tennessee. Senator David Fowler introduced the bill in the Tennessee General Assembly in January 2004.
This honor distinguishes the library for having achieved preeminent stature in its field and for its many valuable contributions to the preservation of the nation’s railroad history, it was stated.
Officials said, "The library is recognized as one of the finest facilities of its kind in the country, and certainly within the South. Through a variety of publications and programs, the library promotes awareness of the crucial role that railroads played in the development of American life and culture. A ceremony acknowledging this honor is tentatively planned for late summer."
Serving as the archive for the National Model Railroad Association since 1986, the A.C. Kalmbach Memorial Library is an internationally recognized source of prototype and model railroading history, it was stated.
The library houses over 7,000 books and manuals, 50,000 periodicals, 100,000 photographs, and tens of thousands of blueprints featuring railroad and transportation-related subjects.
The facility is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday, and by special appointment.
Currently headquartered in Chattanooga, the National Model Railroad Association was organized in 1935 to unify hobbyists, establish industry standards, and promote the hobby to the general public. The NMRA has approximately 20,000 members worldwide.