The Museum library holds 15,000 books, journals and special collections covering the past, present and future of public transport in London.
Our unique collection covers the Underground, railways, buses and trolleybuses, trams, taxis and private hire, cycling, river transport, street management and walking.
Find out how transport has influenced London’s social history, its architecture, art and design. Learn about the past, present and future of public transport in the capital through the story of Transport for London, London Transport and other predecessor companies.
For a taste of what’s in the library, search our partial catalogue of 6,000 books in Collections online.
View a full list of journals and other serials (such as statistics, directories and annual reports). The journals collection covers all modes of transport and provides news and opinion from 1897 to the present day.
Journals and serials list [506 KB]
If you have any questions about what’s in the library or how we can help with your research, please contact us. Library staff can help locate relevant items in our full catalogue. The catalogue contains details of books, journals, articles, unpublished items, maps, special collections and other material.
This collection contains the personal papers of Frank Pick (1878-1941). He was Managing Director of the Underground Electric Railway Companies of London Ltd (UERL) from 1928-33, and Vice Chairman of the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) from 1933-40.
Having started in information and publicity, Pick’s influence spread in the 1920s to station architecture and vehicle design. From 1933, under his direction, design was promoted as the key to creating a quality public transport system. By the time he left London Transport in 1940, Pick's commitment to excellence had made the company name synonymous with good design.
The Frank Pick collection is managed by the Museum library and can be viewed by appointment at the Museum Depot at Acton.
Please note, under UK copyright law, unpublished typescript or manuscript items in the Frank Pick collection are in copyright until 2039 and cannot be copied. Published items can be copied with the permission of the librarian and within the exceptions to copyright.
A smaller collection of material by and about Frank Pick is available in the Museum library at Albany House. Researchers often find it useful to consult this material first.
Transport for London Corporate Archives holds papers created by Frank Pick in his role at the UERL and the LPTB (see Research Guide No 12). They include items transferred from the Museum to the Corporate Archives in the 1990s.
Herbert and Albert Reinohl were two brothers with a passion for public transport. During a lifetime of collecting they filled 180 albums with tickets and other material, mostly related to buses but also covering other types of public transport from the 19th century to the 1950s. Although primarily a ticket collection, it also includes illustrations, press cuttings, journal articles and other ephemera.
Reinohl Album List [462 KB]
A range of information resources is available to explore on our website.
Search Collections online to find films, photographs, maps and other material in our collections to support your research. Choose the Library collection to find details of over 6,000 library books or browse the Stories section to read about topics from Victorian transport to poster design.
Generations: celebrating 50 years of Caribbean recruitment
In 2006, Transport for London marked the 50th anniversary of London Transport's recruitment of staff from the Caribbean by producing the ‘Generations’ book in partnership with the Museum. Learn about the experiences of staff who migrated to London to work on the buses and Underground. Their stories are told in their own words and illustrated with images from the Museum's collection.
Tales of travelling and working in the capital from members of the London Irish Centre. In this magazine, participants of workshops led by London Transport Museum recall their experiences of living in London and working or travelling on London’s transport.
In partnership with libraries and archives around London the ‘Borough books’ project uncovered the transport story in four London boroughs, using images and sources from the Museum and local collections. Four booklets about different areas of the city are available:
To find out more about the history of public transport in your area contact your local archive or local history library. A full list of local record offices is on the National Archives website.
We are currently closed
Keeping our visitors and staff safe is our top priority. In light of recent Government advice surround the coronavirus, we have made the decision to close our doors from until further notice. This includes our Museum, Shop and Canteen in Covent Garden and our Depot in Acton, and our library.
By Underground: St James’s Park (use the Park and Broadway exit. Albany House is a few yards away)
By bus: Victoria Street (11, 24, 148, 211)
Getting here from the Museum
The library collections at Acton are available by appointment, monthly on Tuesdays, 10:30-16:30. Please check availability as far in advance as possible, particularly if you are making a special trip, or visiting from abroad.
Contact us for more information or to book an appointment.
What to bring with you
When you visit we ask you to complete a visitor form and show photo identification (driving licence, passport, travel pass, student card, employee ID) and proof of address (recent utility bill, bank statement).
Bring a pencil to take notes (pens are not allowed) or you can use a laptop.
Lockers are available to store your belongings. No coins are needed.
Bring a digital camera if you wish to copy any material. You must ask library staff for permission first as not all material can be copied.
You will be asked to complete a copyright declaration form. It is your responsibility to be informed about whether your research and copying falls within the exceptions to copyright.
The library at Albany House and the research area at the Depot in Acton are both on the first floor with step-free access. Let us know if you have any access requirements when booking an appointment so we can make suitable arrangements.
If you are considering donating material to the Museum Library, please read our donations policy before you contact us. You’ll find the policy in our Library donation form [108KB].
Write to us by email or post, ensuring that you include a contact phone number. We ask potential donors to provide a list of items with as much detail as possible, including a description of their physical condition. We also need to know whether you own the items or are acting on behalf of someone else. Donors of unpublished material will be asked to provide proof of ownership and provenance.
If the donation is agreed, Library staff will make arrangements with donors for the deposit of material and a Library donation form will be completed on the day of transfer.
If you cannot find the information you need or have any questions, please get in touch. A librarian is normally available Monday-Friday to answer phone enquiries. Or you can email us and a member of the team will get back to you.
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)343 222 5000 and select option 3