Scholarship on historical and contemporary photographs of the Central Pacific Railroad sites is currently under review to be published digitally in these project pages. The first piece will be the essay by Li Ju and Linda Ye, “A Photo Comparative Essay of the Central Pacific Railroad”.
From the authors: This essay attempts to identify locations along the original Central Pacific Railroad and provides insight into the lives of Chinese Workers during its construction. Over the course of five years, we conducted field visits using modern technology to trace the original railroad route, to pinpoint the geographical coordinates of the locations featured in historical photographs of the work on the railroad line. In this essay we compare historical archival photos with our contemporary images taken at the identical locations. We document new findings about the locations of the sites, the evolution of these sites over time, and the daily lives of the railroad construction workers.