The Reference Library not only covers the growth of the GWR and the advance of railway technology, for the social historian it also contains material illustrating the impact of the GWR on the local community and the growth of Swindon as a Railway Town.
The Archive contains original documentation relating to the history of the GWR and Swindon Works.
The Reference Library and Archive are open Monday to Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm by appointment only. Visits to the Reference Library and Archive are dependent on the availability of the volunteers who assist the Curatorial Team.
Due to staff working offsite on other projects the Enquiry Service and access to the Library and Archives are limited. Please get in touch with your enquiry and we will advise whether we can assist.
Visits to either or both facilities are subject to a fee.
|Single Day Use of Library||Annual Library User|
|Requesting Archive items (in addition to the fees above, payable on each visit for annual users) (First 10 items)||£5.00||£3.00|
|Requesting Archive items (Additional 5 items)||£3.00||£2.00|
|Requesting Photo folders (in addition to the fees above, payable on each visit for annual users) (First 15 folders)||£5.00||£3.00|
|Requesting Photo folders (Additional 10 folders)||£3.00||£2.00|
Single Day Use of Library includes access to Museum, unlimited private reference photography and 15 photocopies.
Annual Library User includes unlimited visits over a year, includes access to Museum, unlimited private reference photography and 35 photocopies per year.
Any repeat visits under a season pass will also be by appointment only.
For remote enquiries please see the Historical Enquiries page.
All visitors must adhere to the terms and conditions prior to their appointment. Full terms and conditions can be found by downloading the PDF below.
The Reference Library holds an incomplete set of the Great Western Railway Magazine.
The Reference Library contains over 3,000 titles, and includes well-known works by recognised GWR historians, as well as lesser-known titles. The majority of these relate to the GWR, however we also hold a small collection of books concerning other Railway lines and companies as well as books on general railway history.
Please click on the link below to see a list of GWR reference books we hold in our Library.
Our collection includes bound volumes of:
Great Western Railway Magazine
British Railways Magazine (Western Region)
Journal of Institution of Locomotive Engineers
The Railway Magazine Illustrated
We also hold a variety of unbound latter-day publications.
The bound volumes collection contains:
A large series of Acts of Parliament Session books
New Work Orders 1932-1964 – These describe work undertaken by Swindon works in a variety of fields from machinery to civil engineering
Bound volumes of committee minutes including the Locomotive Committee, the Traffic Committee and others
We hold primarily GWR and BR Western Region timetables as well as a series of Bradshaw’s Railway Manuals dating back to 1860.
The Harry Collection – an extensive collection of bound order books, specifications, standard stock statements, Lot books, Swindon Works staff registers, and early locomotive, carriage & wagon and road vehicle ledgers from Swindon Works.
If you are interested in family research please download our useful guide to sources available at STEAM and at other institutions.
The photograph collection amounts to approximately 100,000 images, as well as slides and a collection of 1,000 official GWR glass lantern slides. Subject areas depicted include Swindon Works, both manufacturing and architectural views, locomotives and rolling stock, local and social history. We also hold a large number of locomotive postcards.
To see our images online visit www.steampicturelibrary.com
This is a miscellaneous collection, mostly related to Swindon Works and other GWR locations. The collection does include some locomotive and carriage drawings.
Includes GWR paperwork, correspondence and official publications.
The Alan Peck Collection is a large collection of archive material, books, plans and photographs relating to the history and development of Swindon Works.
The Keith Frankling Collection contains material relating to carriage and wagon design and construction, including plans and other archive material. Not yet catalogued.
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