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Ronald J. Sullivan Photograph Collection

Identifier: TL030

  • Staff Only
The Ronald J. Sullivan Photograph Collection is an extensive collection of photographs and slides of public and commercial buses and public transit and commuter trains taken by Ronald J. Sullivan, an amateur photographer. The majority of the photographs were taken in Chicago, Illinois and the surrounding area, with a few in other cities and international locations. Each photograph or slide is documented in detail as to where and when it was taken. Included is the bus or train number, route number, street intersection or station and the date. For the sake of consistency and ease of searching for specific items the City of Chicago Street Guide abbreviations and a list of common abbreviations found in the collection will be used. See the following:

Abbreviations & Symbols in Description (geographic; Arc. = Arc Street Ave. = Avenue Blvd. = Boulevard Cir. = Circle Ct. = Court Diag. = Diagonal Street Dr. = Drive Ln. = Lane (P) = Private Street Pk. = Park Pkwy. = Parkway Plc. = Place Plza. = Plaza Rd. = Road Sq. = Square St. = Street Terr. = Terrace * = Not Continuous

Common Abbreviations Found in the Ronald J. Sullivan Photographic Collection Finding Aid (lines and manufacturers):

BIV - Kawasaki-built subway car model; BN - Burlington Northern Railroad; C.M.C. Co. - Chicago Motor Coach Company; C.S.I. - Corporate Services International charter bus company (?); C.T.U. - ; CATCO - Charter bus operator; CIE - Córas Iompair Éireann, Ireland's national public transport provider; Cioses - ; CNW - Chicago and North Western Railroad; CRT/CTA - Chicago Rapid Transit Company/Chicago Transit Authority; Crusader - Bus model manufacturer by Champion; CSL/CTA - Chicago Surface Lines/Chicago Transit Authority; CTA - Chicago Transit Authority; FLXF - Flxible bus model- GT - Grand Trunk Railway; HMS - His/Her Majesty’s Ship; IC or I.C. - Illinois Central Railroad; Keeshin - Charter bus operator; M.A.N. - MAN Truck & Bus Company; N.S. - Norfolk Southern Railway; NOPSI - New Orleans Public Service Incorporated; O.N.U. - ; RTA/CNW - Regional Transportation Authority/Chicago and North Western Railroad; S.P. - Southern Pacific Railway; Soo - Soo Line Railroad; TDH - General Motors bus model; UP - Union Pacific North (Metra line); Wiersema - Charter bus operator;

The title for each image contains the individual bus or train number, route number, street and/or intersection names, date and make of the bus or train, in that order.

The collection consists of three series; Slides; Photographs; and Artifacts.

Boxes 1-2 include slides taken from 1940-2000. Each slide has detailed information regarding the bus or train identifying number, route number and street intersection or station where the photograph was taken and the date. Slides are primarily of Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) public buses and "L" trains, though the collection also includes charter bus coaches, working buses and working trains, freight trains, and two ships.

Box 3 includes photographs of buses and trains, again including identifying and route numbers, locations and dates.

Box 4 contains the metal slide box that held the majority of the collection, along with a photograph indicating how the slides were originally organized.


  • 1940-2000


Conditions Governing Access

To inquire about access to this collection, please contact the Transportation Library at or (847) 491-5273.


4 Boxes


The Ronald J. Sullivan Photograph Collection spans the years 1940-2000. The extensive collection is comprised of photographs and slides of primarily public bus and train transportation, chiefly in the Chicago, Illinois area.


The Ronald J. Sullivan Photograph Collection is organized into: slides; photographs; and artifacts. Slides and photographs are further arranged by type of transportation.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was received as a gift to the Transportation Library from James Wallrabenstein of Spokane, Washington, on December 19, 2016.
Guide to the Ronald J. Sullivan Photograph Collection
Emily Head
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Transportation Library Repository

Northwestern University Library (Level 5, North tower)
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208- US