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.
Our material is primarily made up of the Roy F Burrows Collection as well as that of Derby Museums. As befits the museum of the town that the Midland Railway called home, their collection of general railway material is superb, and that focused on the Midland Railway, even more so. There are even items in their collection which were donated to the Borough Free Museum by the Midland Railway itself prior to 1923!
With a growing interest in genealogy, a lot of our visitors are researching their railway ancestors. While it is a sad fact that the overwhelming majority of staff records were quickly destroyed when they were no longer needed, a surprising amount survives. As well as our own collection, our volunteers are able to assist visitors toward other on-line resources such as those of the National Archives.
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 a computer 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. We can scan most documents up to 44 inches (1.1 metre) wide provides their condition allows and will provide the results either by email or USB stick. Visitors are more than welcome to use their own digital cameras and we can provide a rostrum stand for the purpose if required.
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.