MR Crest

The Midland Railway Study Centre
is a collaboration between these three organisations:

Housed within Derby's Silk Mill, itself a World Heritage Site, the Midland Railway Study Centre is the largest publicly accessible collection of primary research material and ephemera relating to the Midland Railway, its constituent companies, and its legacy on today's society.

This site will help you find details about the Study Centre's collections and how to access them. With an expanding range of on-line resources, it also provides a pathway for finding information relating to the Midland Railway.

Enjoy looking around this site and if you think we can help, please get in touch. We hope to see you at the Study Centre soon.

The Midland Railway Study Centre is very proud to be a Partner in Excellence with the National Railway Museum.

The Silk Mill - home to the Midland Railway Study Centre

Derby's Silk Mill, home to the Midland Railway Study Centre.

Researching Your Midland Railway Ancestor Workshop
3pm - 7pm, Thursday 13th November, at the Silk Mill

The Midland Railway employed many hundreds of staff in Derby over the years. Some already lived in the area while many moved their families to the town from distant parts of the country and settled here. This is one of the many ways that the coming of the railway to Derby - as it did with countless other places - left its indelible mark on history.

Piecing together the patchwork of surviving records in order make sense of an ancestor's railway career can be a challenge. Over the years, the volunteers at the Midland Railway Study Centre have developed considerable expertise in helping people find out about their forebears.

On Thursday 13th November, using the records held within our own collections, as well as tapping in to the on-line resources elsewhere, we will be offering one-on-one advice to guide our visitors in finding out more about their Midland Railway ancestor.

The event starts at 3pm and continues until 7pm. There is no need to pre-book, however we will ask you to fill-out a brief questionnaire about your relative when you arrive. If you have any photographs or paperwork relating to your ancestor's railway career, we would be delighted to see them.


Understanding Staff Records

Glynn Waite has very kindly shared a paper he has written which guides researchers around the many & varied potential pitfalls which exist within the National Archives’ "RAIL491" series of Midland Railway staff records. Drawing on his vast experience, Glynn provides illustrated examples which explain the often mysterious shorthand that the Company’s clerks used, and lead the reader through the records. With particular emphasis on the Coaching Department, he gives a comprehensive overview of the scope of the records, and just as importantly, highlights the gaps which exist. This is sure to be an extremely useful resource for family historians searching for details of their ancestor’s career on the Midland Railway.


Catalogue Update

Thanks to the tremendous work of our small team of volunteer cataloguers, the painstaking editing done by Anne Burrows and the technical expertise of Mervyn Bryce, an update to the on-line catalogue has just gone live. We now have 49,547 individual items listed. A notable change has been in the way we handle extracts from the Whitaker album of newspaper cuttings. This has been separated out into individual pages. This means if you search for the name of a prominent person in the Midland Railway's history, the entry you get back is much more manageable.


Staff Record Database

There has been another update to our database of Midland Railway Staff. The latest update is formed by the 128 names from the Buxton Goods Department for the period 1908 - 1912, thanks to the ongoing work of Glynn Waite. This dataset now contains 9,108 names of staff who worked for the Midland Railway.

Operating Dates

The Study Centre operating dates can be viewed here. If none of the dates we have planned fit your schedule please let us know as we may be able to arrange some dates around your diary instead of ours!

Camera Levy

We now ask for a £5 per visit levy for the use of a camera by visitors who are not members of the Midland Railway Society. We have chosen to make this charge in order to generate an income which we will reinvest in reprographic equipment. Our long term aim is to finance the purchase of equipment to make our larger drawings available in a digital format. We hope you understand our reasoning and will support our aims in this regard.

A view of the reading room in use

The Study Centre reading room

Large object store

Large object store

Site last updated: 17OCT2014 18:20