Author Archives: Karen Baker, Librarian

“Old Morality” and the rise of recreational reading

We have recently acquired some interesting publications from W.H. Smith & Son. You may wonder why as, on the face of it, the railway connection is rather tangential. However, this famous stationers and bookshop has been part of the station landscape since … Continue reading

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Navvy poets. Have you heard of such a thing?

If we think of a railway navvy, a few choice adjectives come to mind. I would hazard a guess that “erudite”, “literate” and “religious” were not among those chosen. However, we have recently acquired an intriguing collection of poetry by self-proclaimed railway … Continue reading

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A new home for cornerstone of Britain’s railway history

We have recently acquired a complete set of railway Parliamentary papers charting the official story of the birth of the railway network from 1837 up to the early 2oth century in 1906. These Parliamentary papers are a vital piece in the jig-saw … Continue reading

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Railway libraries and the culture of self-betterment

Saturday 7 February is National Libraries Day and we thought it would be the ideal time to show the important historical role railway libraries have made to the rail industry, its workers and society at large. Libraries often formed part of the Mechanics Institute, … Continue reading

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The ABC of trainspotting literature: adventure, pedantry and fun

As part of our Trainspotting Season I have been looking in a bit more detail at the literature of the hobby – the many guides, memoires and journals that have featured large in railway publishing since the boom of interest started … Continue reading

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Railway historian’s research legacy begins new life

We have teamed up with the Railway & Canal Historical Society (R&CHS) to create a new research tool based on the work of esteemed railway historian Alan Jackson. Jackson wrote many books in his lifetime and, as part of his … Continue reading

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Hidden Treasures: a sneak peek behind the scenes

We are taking part in the Collections Trust Hidden Treasures event this Bank Holiday (22-27 August). Which means you will have an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of our less known and less seen railway treasures on … Continue reading

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