We were recently contacted by a woman whose father died a few years ago, leaving behind a collection of CERA books. I told her we had just received a letter from a man who was looking for a copy of CERA B-110, West Penn Railways. He said his grandfather had worked for West Penn.
She said that by coincidence, this just happened to be the last book of her father’s that she had looked at. She sent us the book and we sold it to the grandson for a nominal sum.
This was a “win-win” for everyone. The lady had a great sense of satisfaction, seeing her father’s book going to a good home. The grandson got the book they wanted, and CERA made a few dollars in the process.
This gave us the idea of a CERA Used Book Exchange. We are often contacted by people who are looking for out-of-print CERA bulletins. And we know that there are people who have traction books they no longer want. The power of the Internet (and this blog) gives us a chance to get these books to the people who want them.
If you have traction books that you no longer need, why not consider donating them to CERA? We will post a list of used books that are available on a periodic basis here on the blog, under the heading of CERA Used Book Exchange. Prices will be reasonable and will include domestic shipping via USPS Media Mail. International shipping will be extra, with rates available upon request. All proceeds will go to CERA, and will help fund our activities as an educational and technical association incorporated in the State of Illinois.
We are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and your book donations may be tax-deductible. If you need a tax letter for your donation, we will be happy to provide one.
The list will be updated as books come and go, and will supersede all previous lists. Watch this space in the next few weeks for our first such list.
Naturally, CERA has a complete collection of bulletins for archive purposes. But we would like to scan all our old bulletins, and make them available as .pdf files on discs via high-resolution scans. This is not difficult for the earlier bulletins, which are shorter in length, but the later ones, starting with about B-100, might have to be removed from their bindings in order to be scanned. We cannot do this with our archived copies, so this means we may need additional copies of some bulletins beyond what we have in our archives.
In addition, we intend to make the 49 ERHS* bulletins available on disc as a complete set. We have put together a collection of most of them, but are still looking for the following numbers:
5, 8, 12, 16, 18, 19, 21, 45, and 46
If you have copies of any of these, we would be glad to have them. They will help us complete our project.
Besides this, there are plenty of other high-quality traction books that have been put out by various publishers over the years. Interurbans Press, Kalmbach Publications and Morning Sun books come immediately to mind, but there have been many others. Books such as these are also welcome and would be of interest to our members.
With your help, we can make the CERA Used Book Exchange a great success. I believe that over time, it will become one of the most popular features of the CERA Members’ Blog.
If you are interested in donating used (or new) traction books to CERA, you can contact us:
By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
By mail: CERA, PO Box 503, Chicago IL, 60690-0503
By telephone: 312-987-4391
*The Electric Railway Historical Society published bulletins from 1952-73. They were also responsible for saving several historic railcars that are now at the Illinois Railway Museum.