A GUIDE TO THE RESOURCES OF
THE MIDLAND RAILWAY STUDY CENTRE
"The Midland Railway Study Centre has something about almost everything, but rarely everything about anything"
This quote is a succinct characterisation of collections held by the Midland Railway Study Centre. Anybody with a Midland Railway related subject to research will always find it worth a visit, with little chance of going away having had a totally wasted time. We can’t always promise to find material on a specific subject, but there will generally be something of interest on a related topic to look at.
The Study Centre’s Reading Room regularly witnesses very knowledgeable people gasp in delight as a previously unknown fact comes to light - and that is always a good moment.
Searching the Study Centre Catalogue
One of the greatest strengths of the Study Centre is its policy to combine documentary material and objects in one place. The normal division between these two is essentially an artificial and traditional one such as whether the host organisation is an archive or a museum. For us the primary consideration is the what the item can tell us and do we have the room to store it properly. To that end, documents and objects have equal importance as material evidence. The Study Centre enables them to be accessed by users in one place and, most importantly, to be used in conjunction with each other.
From Timetables to Tickets, Accident Reports to Acts of Parliament, Plans to Pamphlets, Rule Books and Rate Books, Post Cards to Posters... the Midland Railway Study Centre adds up to the largest collection of Midland Railway items anywhere.
The collection is fully catalogued, though it is an ongoing task to add as much detail as we can. Meanwhile, the catalogue as it stands contains details of most of the holdings. The database is available on computers in the reading room, providing a comprehensive search facility and can be searched on this web site, with the results including thumbnail images of most holdings.
Reprographic facilities are available to help visitors record information for their research. In order to protect the collection from potential harm, scanning & copying facilities are limited to documents that are no larger than A3. In order to record larger items, or indeed if preferred for smaller documents, visitors can use their own cameras — subject to a small fee.
The Roy F Burrows Collection has amassed a substantial number of Midland Railway related photographs. You can read more about our photographs and how to obtain copies. Even though we don’t hold prints from the RFB photograph collection ourselves, they are included in the Study Centre’s database to enable visitors to browse thumbnail images of them.