THE MIDLAND RAILWAY
|AN INTRODUCTION TO THE MIDLAND RAILWAY STUDY CENTRE|
The Midland Railway Study Centre is a collaboration of three organisations:-
The Study Centre is
located within Derby's Silk Mill and houses the Midland
Railway ephemera and artefact collections of the three organisations. This makes it the largest collection of Midland Railway material
anywhere. The Midland Railway Study Centre opened on Monday, 10th
May 2004, 160 years to the day after the formation of the
Searching the Study Centre Catalogue
The on-line catalogue is available for visitors to the web site to use.
A great deal of the collection consists of three dimensional objects. These range from cast iron signs, through signaling material (nameboards, box diagrams, signal arms and even a signalbox stove!) to silverware and crockery from hotels, dining cars, and steamships. Regrettably, lack of display space means that this part of the collection is not ordinarily on show to the public. However, items can be made available for viewing by special arrangement.
Interesting though the hardware undoubtedly is, the strength of the Study Centre is its paper records and, most importantly, how the two link together. The Study Centre boasts a wide range of timetables (both public and working), notices, memos & circulars, tickets, maps, plans, drawings.... There are many ledgers in the collections, reflecting the diversity of the Company's record-keeping needs, and often remaining in use from the late 19th Century into the British Railways period! Altogether the document collection is a veritable treasure trove of primary material relating to the history of the Midland Railway, its constituents, and its joint lines.
Of course the visual record of the Company has not been forgotten. Most of the photographs originating from the RFBMCT collection are held in a partnership with the successful and comprehensive Kidderminster Railway Museum’s photographic archive. Read more about our relationship with KRM on this page. Conservation of the material is something that the Study Centre and its host, the Silk Mill Museum, take very seriously. Reproduction facilities are available to readers, though the most non-invasive methods possible are used. To that end, the use of non-flash digital photography is encouraged. Of course Copyright is a consideration all our visitors have to take seriously, though research for private purposes is normally not problematical.
Details of how to arrange a visit to the Study Centre can be found elsewhere on this web site. Two visitors can be accommodated at a time and there are at least 20 dates each year for which bookings can be made.
The Study Centre is staffed by volunteers drawn from the ranks of the Midland Railway Society and all give their time freely. They are responsible for
producing the material on request of the visitor and stewarding the use
of the reading room. This is a vital role and the
more volunteers we have the better. Membership of the Midland Railway Society is a
prerequisite to volunteering at the Study Centre.
Page last updated: 28OCT2012