Today I want to show you an archive, but it isn’t one which is chock full of images, or bringing us rare images of gorgeous graphics. It wins a post of its own, though, simply by existing.
May I introduce you to the City of Birmingham’s Railway Collection. They came to my attention when I was researching Holiday Haunts a few weeks ago, because they’ve put together a small online exhibition of the same name, from which all of these images come.
Now I’m not only pointing at them because they clearly have a rather enviable collection, which looks as if it might include posters as well as brochures and ephemera.
Or because they haven’t always gone for the obvious choices in putting their exhibition together.
Or even because I had no idea that surfing was such a craze in 1932.
I just love the fact that the collection exists at all. 5,000 books and periodicals, 20,000 pictures of trains and stations. And, clearly, a large quantity of posters and lovely brochures too, but all owned by the City of Birmingham, and proudly displayed with their shelving numbers on the website.
What could be more brilliant or unlikely than a municipal railwayana collection? We should campaign until every town and city in the country has one. Until then, hurrah for the City of Birmingham and their archives.