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William Higginbotham Papers

Identifier: 2011-0083

Scope and Content

The collection contains approximately 850 photographs (color and black and white) and negatives of images of railroad locomotives and cars, stations and structures and other scenes in New England and New York State, almost all of them taken by William Higginbotham from 1938 to 1970. A majority of the images are of trains of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad and the New York Central Railroad. Most of the images taken by Mr. Higginbotham have an index card of descriptive information usually providing location, date, railroad line and type of train, or type of structure. The collection consists of a small number of photographs gathered by Mr. Higginbotham, mostly of scenes of New England street railways.


  • undated, 1895, 1902, 1931-1972


The collection is open and available for research.

Use conditions

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


William Higginbotham was born on October 9, 1921, in Vermont, to parents who worked as dairy farmers. He took up photography in high school and began to photograph trains and railroad scenes. He moved to Massachusetts with his family while still in high school and then to Texas to work as a telegraph operator. He lived in New York where he worked as a teletype operator for UPI and was a member of the Electric Railway Association, New York Division, and the Branford Electric Railway Association. Mr. Higginbotham would vacation around the United States taking photographs of trains. He came to Connecticut around 1999 and lived in Vernon and then, from 2011 to his death he lived in Westerly, Rhode Island.

William Higginbotham died in Westerly, Rhode Island, on July 7, 2014.


4.5 Linear Feet (Ten boxes of photographic prints and negatives.)

Language of Materials



William Higginbotham photographed railroad locomotives and scenes beginning in the 1930s. The papers consist of images of railroad locomotives and cars, stations and structures and other scenes, of street railway cars in New England and of trains and scenes of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and the New York Central Railroad.


Series I: Photographic Prints and Negatives (undated, 1895-1972)

Custodial history

The collection was held, processed and described by Robert LaMay of Amston, Connecticut, immediately prior to its donation. Mr. LaMay acquired them from Mark C. Higinbotham in Spring 2011.

Acquisition information

The collection was donated in August and December 2011 by Mark C. Higinbotham, a cousin of William Higginbotham.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of materials in this collection may also be found in the Archives & Special Collections digital repository

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to New England railroads. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

William Higginbotham Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
2011 October
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US