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Newsletter no. 9 from our Archive and Research team at the Museum.

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Institute of Railway Studies seminar

Institute of Railway Studies Seminar

Thursday 12 November 2015; 2pm - 4pm
Duchess of Hamilton Suite, National Railway Museum

The next IRS seminar will showcase more stimulating research discoveries from our students, past and present. We will hear from Erin Beeston who is part-way through her PhD. Erin is working on the collections based at our sister museum - the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. Her research is looking at the history of uses, perceptions and remaking of the Liverpool Road Station site and her talk will hone in on how this station and other early Manchester stations influenced perceptions and experiences in the town during the 1830s and 1840s. In particular she will look at the ways sources like timetables, railway periodicals and artworks allow historians to critique the influence of early railway stations on Victorian cities.

Our second speaker will be recent IRS PhD student Reg Davies. Reg's research looked at public transport in inter-war Britain; specifically that the Big Four railway companies believed that buses were a major competitive threat to their passenger business in the 1920s. Reg will focus his talk on the Southern Railway and discuss the benefits this company derived from its actions to mitigate bus competition and look at any public benefits that resulted from these actions. Reg's thesis "Public passenger transport in inter-war Britain: the Southern Railway's response to bus competition, 1923-39" can be read here.

Our final speaker for the day will be Martha Cattell. Martha has just finished her History of Art MA at the University of York and has spent considerable time at the National Railway Museum looking at our art collection, especially the railway carriage prints. Her talk will focus on the British Railway period (1948-1965) where she will discuss these carriage prints in relation to landscape, identity and Britishness. Martha's thesis can be read in Search Engine.

Find out more about the seminar and book now.

Aesthetica Short Film Festival

5-8 November 2015

Aesthetica film festival at the National Railway Museum

This year, we are one of the hosts for this year's BAFTA recognised Aesthetica Short Film Festival, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary. As well as cinemas, ASFF takes place in historic and significant sites in York, temporarily enhancing them with contemporary short films of various genres from all around the world, and we are proud to be part of the experience.

On 6 and 7 November we will host screenings of prize-winning films from previous festivals followed by a panel discussion. To celebrate, we will show footage from our archives to introduce and close each of these two evenings. We selected four black and white films from between the wars produced or sponsored by the railway companies, and we're really excited to offer you the chance to discover them on the big screen.

Find out more

Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme

Submissions for 2016 welcomed

The National Railway Museum is one of the hosts in the consortium currently welcoming applications for the next round of AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships. Eighteen of these awards have been awarded to the Group over three years (starting 2016, 2017 and 2018).

The deadline for submissions for the 2016 intake is 27 November 2015.

For enquiries regarding future academic partnerships with us, please contact our Senior Curator, Railways & Research, Ed Bartholomew.

Railway and Travel Monthly/Transport and Travel Monthly - now digitised

The Great Eastern Railway Society (GERS), using the issues at the National Railway Museum and the Historical Model Railway Society, have digitised the full run of the journal the Railway and Travel Monthly (later to become the Transport and Travel Monthly). This publication was published by ex-editor of the Railway Magazine George Augustus Nokes between 1910-1922 and covers similar subjects to the Railway Magazine, with topical articles and photos. Its principal difference is that it also covers other transport modes, so is useful to place railways in their transportation context.

The GERS have kindly given us access to this digitised version and it is available to researchers in Search Engine. The advantage of using the electronic version over the printed copies is two-fold: firstly, the digitised version is complete (our holdings were missing a couple of volumes); and secondly, they've been digitised using Optical Character Recognition technology (OCR) so that it will allow keyword searching, meaning the rich content is easier to find and therefore more useful to researchers.

It's available to view in Search Engine

Flying Scotsman overseas: can you help?

As part of preparing for the festivities surrounding the return and operation of 'the world's most famous locomotive' we wish to know and see more of what Flying Scotsman got up to on its trips to America (1969-1973) and Australia (1988-1989). Although our collection does contain some images from these trips, we are short on pictures that give a sense of place (the picture above is from the City of Sydney Archives). Does anybody have, or know any organisations that might be able to fill in these gaps?

We would need to know who are the copyright holders and whether or not they would be happy for us to use these images in media events surrounding the history of the locomotive. If you think you may be able to help, please contact our Associate Curator,

Background: Suitcase with railway luggage labels