Research help

Research Journey

Step 1

Our library collection is extensive and is certainly one of the largest, if not the largest, in the country. Therefore, there is a strong chance that we have the answer to your question within the books, journals or databases that we hold in Search Engine. To search these resources browse our library catalogue then come and read them in Search Engine or use the links in the catalogue record to find them at a library near you.

The International Railway Index This very useful database of journal articles is freely available to search on the public computers in Search Engine. It's particularly useful as a tool to discover articles on particular locomotives or slightly more unusual research topics.

Step 2

Discover what we have that might be relevant to your research by having a look at our online lists.

Also, take a look at our Collections Online database which allows you to refine your search to match your requirements.

When you find something of interest, make a note of the reference number and arrange a visit by contacting

Other online resources can be found below.

Step 3

Railway records and archives can be found at many other archives around the country. Use these catalogues to help you find what else exists and where you need to go to view them.

Online Resources

Library catalogue

Our library catalogue is held on the website of the University of York. Use it to find books and magazines that will help you in your research, then come and read them in Search Engine.

Library catalogue (University of York website)
How to use the library catalogue

Science and Society Picture Library

Looking for a photo or poster? Copies of any of the 50,000 images from the collections of National Railway Museum, National Media Museum and the Science Museum can be browsed or bought in a variety of sizes and formats.

SSPL picture library


Contains over 30,000 images which are used to illustrate over 30 different subjects, topics and debates from the collections of the National Railway Museum, National Media Museum and the Science Museum.


Directory of railway websites

Staff from Search Engine have compiled this directory of railway-related websites to help researchers.

Background: Suitcase with railway luggage labels