Thursday, 7 April 2011

The NRM and Guides

Just about when I was preparing the preceding post, the NRM's own blog was providing details on its holdings of railway guides. Primarily they were focussing on their rich strata of 19th century railway guides but the Forsythe Collection was flagged up. I have left a comment adding some detail about how to find more substantive guides as opposed to the ephemera which is the real strength of what went from Prudhoe to York. Nonetheless a sizeable number of railway guides did leave Prudhoe for York. Numbers more stayed and you can chat to me about what is available. They include for instance the Snowdon and Welsh Highland Holiday Book of 1922. If it occurs to you to wonder how the line was drawn, the logic works like this. The NRM did have a large collection of classic railway guidebooks. We were about ephemera or grey literature, stuff without an ISBN in modern jargon. There inevitably becomes an area of overlap and what we and the NRM agreed was that in general, "library" items were not in the transfer. It was not easy to maintain even that and what finally decided matters was where items were filed. If they were in collection files and shoeboxes it was easy to list and value them for the NRM. Where they were well distributed throughout our library shelves, it became impractical to do so and nor was it necessary with the NRM's existing holding in place.