Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Resources for Transport Research

The Library of Birmingham is one of the largest and most important public libraries in Europe. It holds excellent resources for the study of transport. You will find several special collections housed throughout the seven floors of the building.

Workshop Manuals
We have a reference collection of over 5,000 car and motorcycle workshop manuals. These are both directly from manufacturers and from publishers such as Haynes. Some of these date back as far as the 1920s and are an important source of historical as well as technical information. We collect manuals on every new model of car and motorcycle as soon as they are produced. There is a smaller selection of 1,500 manuals that are available for loan.

Road Test Index

We maintain an up-to-date car Road Test Index covering road tests, new car reports, long term and comparison tests from Autocar, What Car? and a variety of other sources. Some of these cover models dating back as far as the early 1900s and are sourced from more unusual publications such as Country Life magazine. We also have a motorcycle road test index which is more limited. The Road Test Index is now available online for you to request copies to be sent to you.


Our periodical collection covers all types of transport. Long runs include Autocar from 1896, Practical Motorist from 1954 and Motorcycle from 1938.

Rootes Loan Collection

This collection consists of over 200 workshop manuals, handbooks and books covering vehicles built by the Rootes group, its predecessors and immediate successors. The attached list provides full details of all items available within the collection.

Social Sciences

Railway Collection
This is the largest collection in the Midlands region with material from 1825 onwards. It includes maps, minutes, correspondence, plans, personal journals, timetables, circulars, instruction books and architectural drawings relating to the GWR and other railway companies. There is a large collection of photographs of mostly stations and locomotives from the 1940s - 1950s.The collection also includes the Haydon Diaries of the nineteenth century Swindon works, the George Bradshaw letters, the Baxter map collection and the deposit collection of the Railway and Canal Historical Society.

Wingate-Bett Transport Ticket Collection
This is a collection of over one million tickets put together over a period of 50 years. The tickets are from all over the world and relate to many different forms of transport e.g. rail, bus, ships and airlines.

LMS Library & BR (Residual) Law Library
This material belonged to the LMS railway company which was nationalised in 1948. It contains information about the company and its rivals. It was donated to the Library in 1998 by British Rail. The BR Law Library material is a small collection of maps, statutory instruments and Acts of Parliament. Archives and Heritage Service
The Archives and Heritage service in the Library of Birmingham houses book collections of local interest on railways, canals buses and trams. Specialist items include railway plans (1837-1884), railway acts (1809-1914), canal acts (1767-1840) and bus and tram timetables. There are also approximately 100 photographs of railways and canals contained in the Warwickshire Photographic Survey. These are indexed by name of railway or canal and by subject. There is a small collection of books on local road transport.

Boulton and Watt Collection - much transport material including steamboat engine drawings.

BSA Collections - donated to the Library when the factory closed.

Metro-Cammell Archive - This comprises over 100,000 railway rolling stock drawings in the form of microfilm aperture cards together with over 100 photograph albums, rolling stock specifications, catalogues and pamphlets. Records date from c1850 - c1950.

Material on Lieutenant Lempriere, ballooning pioneer of Handsworth.


Brief enquiries can be answered by telephone ( 0121 242 4242 ) or e-mail enquiries@libraryofbirmingham.com but detailed ones are best dealt with by letter or by visiting to undertake personal research.

Staff are always pleased to assist you.

Additional services are offered including photocopying facilities, free internet access and word processing.

The Birmingham Railway Heritage Study Centre Acocks Green

Acocks Green Library houses the largest lending collection of railway books in Birmingham Libraries. Around 2000 books are available on railways past and present and on steam engines. The collection has been in existence for more than thirty years and therefore contains many classic accounts of railways which are no longer available elsewhere. There is also a small collection of rare railway models.

The Birmingham Railway Heritage Study Centre Acocks Green

Rootes List

BCC Logo (Size: 64.9 Kb Type: pdf )

Copyright:Copyright Restricted

Resources for Transport Research


Aston Manor RTM


Resources for Transport Research