Conversations Northeast 2016



Rutland night, by Jim ShaughnessyRutland freight train RC-2 led by RS3 no. 208 crossing the Walloomsac River near State Line, New York, in 1959. Photograph by Jim Shaughnessy, presenter at the Center’s Conversations Northeast at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, October 29, 2016.

October 29, 2016, at the University of Connecticut at Storrs

Registrations are closed.

New for 2016 and in conjunction with the University of Connecticut’s Archives and Special Collections, we are proud to announce a special, northeastern-themed edition of our popular Conversations conference, Conversations Northeast. The one-day conference is set for Saturday, October 29, at the Dodd Research Center in Storrs, Connecticut. It will feature a full day of presentations about railroad photography and art in the Northeast, exhibitions by photographer Jim Shaughnessy and from university’s extensive archives, and several opportunities for socializing including lunch and an evening reception.


The conference will be held in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center on the campus of the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
405 Babbidge Road
Storrs, CT 06269-1205

Look for “DODD” in section E7 of the UConn campus map.

Lunch will be served in the North Reading Room of the Wilbur Cross building, “WCB” in F9 of the campus map. All other activities will take place in the Dodd Research Center.

Download a printable map showing all conference locations.

Directions and Parking

The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center is at 405 Babbidge Road, Storrs CT 06269. Please note that Babbidge Road is a pedestrian walkway. Visitors can park on Whitney Road, which is adjacent to the Dodd Research Center, on the weekends at any available spot. Parking is also available in a small lot behind the building.

To get to the University of Connecticut campus take Route 84; get off at exit 68 to go south on Route 195. Go south for about 6 miles, towards Mansfield (Storrs is a section in Mansfield, so follow any signs to Mansfield). When you cross the intersection of Route 195 and Route 44 you will now be one mile from campus.

From Route 195 turn right onto Mansfield Road, a main entrance to campus. Take the third left onto Whitney Road. The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center is the third building on the right.

Parking is also available at the South Campus Parking Garage for a fee. Follow the directions above to the turn onto Mansfield Road into campus. Take the second left on to Gilbert Road. At the end of Gilbert Road make a right onto Hillside Road. From Hillside Road make a left to Jim Calhoun Way (at the corner will be Gampel Pavilion). The South Campus Parking Garage (2075 Hillside Road) is behind the campus bookstore, accessible from Jim Calhoun Way. Park there (fee is $2.00 per hour for the first two hours, $1.00 per hour for every hour after that with a $12.00 maximum per day. Please note that parking will not be validated by the conference organizers.)

On foot, exit the parking garage back to Jim Calhoun Way to the intersection with Hillside Road. Cross Hillside Road at the School of Business (across from Gampel, on other corner). Enter into campus, toward the Whetten Graduate Center but note that you will have to walk to the left of a large area of construction to get in the vicinity of the graduate center. Walk to the back of the graduate center which will lead you to the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, which you can enter from the front plaza.

New Haven at Woodlawn, New York
New Haven Railroad passenger train at Woodlawn, New York, on June 4, 1957, crossing the flyover used by New Haven trains en route to Grand Central Terminal. Photograph by William Higginbotham and courtesy of the Archives & Special Collections of the University of Connecticut.

Sunday Excursion

Looking for something to do on Sunday after the conference? The Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts are running a special, all-day excursion train with the help of the Providence & Worcester Railroad and the Valley Railroad. The train leaves from Worcester at 8:30 in the morning and returns at 9:30 in the evening. The Valley Railroad’s 2-8-2 no. 3025 will power the train for part of the trip. Visit the Mass Bay RRE site for more details and ticket information. The below photograph of the 3025, by Center member Tom Nanos, was recognized in the Center’s 2013 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program.

Tom Nanos
Valley Railroad no. 3025 at Deep River, Connecticut, on December 18, 2012. Photograph by Tom Nanos

Newark Bay Drawbridge, by Victor
Chessie System’s westbound “Chicagoan” freight train crossing the massive Newark Bay Drawbridge between Bayonne and Elizabethport, New Jersey. Photograph by presenter Victor Hand

Schedule: Saturday, October 29

  • 8:00, Coffee hour
  • 9:00, Welcome and opening remarks
  • 9:30, Victor Hand, photographer
  • 10:15, Break
  • 10:45, Shaun O’Boyle, photographer
  • 11:30, J.W. “Jack” Swanberg, photographer
  • 12:15, Lunch
  • 1:30, Bob Belletzkie, on the railroad station photography of Benton and Drake
  • 2:15, Mark Aldrich, professor of economics at Smith College, on railroad political cartoons
  • 3:00, Break
  • 3:30, Matt Kierstead, on Stations by Michael Flanagan
  • 4:15, Jim Shaughnessy, photographer
  • 5:00, Concluding remarks
  • 5:15, Reception, with a gallery talk by Laura Smith, curator for railroad collections at the Archives & Special Collections of the University of Connecticut Libraries
  • 7:30, Conclusion

Please note that the schedule is subject to change as necessary.

Read more about the three railroad photography exhibitions on display at the Dodd Research Center.