Robert W. Richardson Railroad Library and Collections

Built in 1997, the Robert W. Richardson Railroad Library is one of the most comprehensive railroad reference libraries in the United States. From timetables to employee records, photographs to engineering documents, maps to books, it offers a wealth of railroad information.

The collections focus on railroads in the Rocky Mountain region and American West, with some national and international comparative information. The Library is open to visitors of the Museum. Patrons are also welcome to write, call, or email the Library with questions or for further information.

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Library Collections

The Colorado Railroad Museum and Robert W. Richardson Library contain one of the largest collections of Rocky Mountain and Western U.S. railroad artifacts, books, maps, mechanical drawings, archives, images, and audiovisual materials in the United States. Our Library is non-circulating, however we welcome patrons to visit and examine the materials on site any time during our operating hours (Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-3pm). For detailed research requests, please make an appointment.

We are currently working towards making our Collections catalog available online. In the interim, please feel free to contact us with specific inquires.

Appointments and Research Assistance

Many of our resources are not stored in the library itself, so they may not be immediately available for drop-in patrons. We are better able to meet your research needs if you contact us with your questions in advance and schedule a visit. Please contact Stephanie Gilmore, Curator of Collections at (720) 274-5148, or to schedule a research appointment.

If you are not able to visit us in person, our volunteers and staff may perform research on your behalf and contact you with the results. Extensive research questions which take more than a half-hour of volunteer or staff time may be subject to a rate of $40 per hour.

Copies or scans of information may be sent when the condition and use permissions of the original permits. All copies are subject to the rules outlined in the Reproduction Use Agreement.


We’re out of Space!

The Colorado Railroad Museum is seeking your support as members of the museum, volunteers, board members, and the general public.  A common problem that affects the majority of museums is a lack of space to store permanent collections. Since its inception in 1958, the Colorado Railroad Museum has been very fortunate to receive many generous donations which have made our collections what they are today.  However, we have received so much material over the last several decades that our storage areas are overflowing.  Donations come in faster than we can adequately process them, and as a result we have never had the chance to thoroughly evaluate everything we already have.

As such, until further notice, we cannot accept any unsolicited donations through the mail or in person.  If you have something you believe to be very important to the mission of the museum (in bold face below) that you wish to donate, the best course of action is to send an itemized inventory list and photos of the items you have to our Curator of Collections, Stephanie Gilmore.  If we determine that you have an item which will help fill a gap in our collections, or that could be used in our auction program, we may decide to accept it.

Please note the following list of items we no longer need or accept: magazine issues of Trains or Model Railroader; items that have no relationship whatsoever to railroads; Amtrak memorabilia; Regional Transportation District (RTD) memorabilia; folk art; reproduction railroad china; and tourist railroad memorabilia. Also be advised that due to our aforementioned space restrictions, only items we know to fill a gap in our current collections will be accepted. We thank you in advance for thinking of us as a recipient of your items, and we greatly appreciate your cooperation with this matter. Please direct any questions to our Curator of Collections.

“The mission of the Colorado Railroad Museum is to preserve and convey the rich history of railroading in the Rocky Mountain region through acquisition, research, exhibition, and education.”

Monetary donations can be made through the Museum’s Online Depot General Store.

Fee Schedule and Use Agreement

Please review our Reproduction Use Agreement and Fee Schedule for information about using our materials in publications, exhibits, websites, etc. Fees are subject to change without notice.

Reproduction Use Agreement

Fee Schedule (February 2016)


Since the 1960s, the Colorado Railroad Museum has published small runs of books dealing with railroad history — particularly Colorado railroad history. Shop online or visit the Depot General Store to view and purchase these publications.

Many of these works have been published as part of our “Colorado Rail Annual” series, which originally served as compilations of short articles but more recently has become our venue for publishing single longer works.

Authors interested in submitting a manuscript for consideration should review our submission guidelines: Author Guidelines

Explore More of the Museum

Depot Museum Railyard Roundhouse Library