Records of individuals and families

Revealing personal records.


These cover a vast range, from unique items such as the notebook of John Rastrick - the judge at the Rainhill Trials in 1829 - to the sole surviving personal diary of Robert Stephenson, through to large collections such as the papers of Timothy Hackworth and his family, and the papers of the inventor William Yorath Lewis, who tried to bring a perpetually moving 'never stop railway' to fruition.

There's also:

  • Noted railway historians such Dr. Michael Bonavia and C.F. Dendy Marshall
  • Bodies that shaped railway preservation and historical study over the years, including the Heritage Railway Association and the Railway & Canal Historical Society.
  • Papers from the campaign to save the Woodhead Trans-Pennine route in the 1970s and 1980s
  • Some personal papers of Sir Peter Parker, one of BR's most respected Chairmen
  • Drivers' diaries and logbooks, training course notes and service papers

Note that we don't hold Trade Union archives – these are mainly centred at the University of Warwick's Modern Records Centre.

The lists below cover relatively substantial deposits of a box or more. We have small deposits and individual documents relating to various railway figures, including the great pioneering names such as Stephenson. There's also a backlog of uncatalogued and unsorted material that's gradually being worked on. Detailed catalogues and lists can be accessed by visiting us.

Baxter, Frank Engineering dept London North Western Railway, London Midland Scottish
Baxter, Frank archive list

Beaver, Stanley H, Professor
Beaver, Stanley H., Professor archive list

Bonavia, Michael Dr
Bonavia, MR archive list

Papers of Alfred J. Boston (BOST)

Click, John G
Click, John G, archive list

Cox, E.S., Locomotive Engineer
Cox E.S., Locomotive Engineer archive list

Crispin, S.J., Structural Engineer
Crispin, S.J., Structural Engineer archive list

Records from the library of Sir Daniel Gooch (1816-1988) 1st Baronet (GOO)

Report Books of John Graham, Stockton and Darlington Railway Employee (GRA)

Hackworth family archive
Introduction to Hackworth family Archive & archive list

Hornbuckle, Tommy Midland Railway / London Midland Scottish locomotive engineer
Hornbuckle, Tommy archive list.

Horsfield, H.T., Civil Engineer
Horsfield, H.T., Civil Engineer archive list

George Hudson 
Petition Requesting the Election of George Hudson (1800-1871) to the Board of Directors of the Eastern Counties Railway (HUD)
Petition of the Inhabitants of York supporting the bill from the York and Newcastle Railway Company (PIY)
Petition of the Electors of the Borough of Sunderland Supporting George Hudson (SUN)

Hughes, J.O.P., Designer, English Electric
Introduction Hughes, J.O.P., Designer, archive & list

Johnson, Robert, Civil Engineer
Introduction to archive of Johnson, Robert & archive list

Papers of Arthur Osborne Ladell (LAD)

Papers of Captain George Gibson Mallory (MAL)

Diaries of Peter John Margary (1820-1896), Railway Engineer (MARG)

Papers of R.E.L. Maunsell, Chief Mechanical Engineer, Eastleigh Works (MAUN)

Papers of John Melling, Locomotive Superintendent (MEL)

Neele, George Potter, Superintendent of line LNWRS
Neele, George Potter, LNWRS archive list

Pearce Higgins, Selwyn
Pearce Higgins, Selwyn archive list

Correspondence of Henry Pease (1807–1881) (PEAS)

Rennie, Sir John 

Intro to accounts & reciepts Rennie, Sir John &list

Purvis archive (PUR)

George Stephenson 
Letter from George Stephenson Colliery to Philip Maddison Regarding Engine Designs (STEMA)
Papers of George and Robert Stephenson Regarding the Moreton Rail-Road (STEM)
Correspondence relating to Robert Stephenson and George Stephenson (STEPGR)

Robert Stephenson
Papers relating to the estate of Robert Stephenson (STERP)
Letters from Robert Stephenson to his parents (STE)
Correspondence from Robert Stephenson to Samuel Smiles (STESI)
Diary of Robert Stephenson (STEPHR)
Three letters from Robert Stephenson to Captain Constantine Moorsom (STEMO)
Letter from Robert Stephenson to Curteis and Kingsford, Solicitors (STECK)
Letter from Robert Stephenson to Dr Andrew Ure (STEUR)

Papers relating to Francis Trevithick's Biography of His Father Richard Trevithick (TREVF)

Turner, Howard
Turner, Howard archive list
Turner, Howard list of instruction books

F. W. Webb archive (WEBB)

Worthington archive (WORTH)

Background: Suitcase with railway luggage labels