Accessing the Collections

The library is open to researchers in all fields related to railroad history. Historically, this has included railfans, historians, genealogists, modelers, and news agencies, among others. If your research topic involves railroads, especially Colorado narrow gauge railroads, contact us to see what materials we have that might be of use to you. The Library is a closed stacks reference facility. As such, browsing is extremely limited, and materials are not available for circulation/check-out. Our helpful staff and volunteers are pleased to be of service, though, so please don’t be shy about asking for assistance!

While appointments are not required, it is strongly recommended that you contact us ahead of your visit. Many of our resources are not stored in the library itself, so not all resources are immediately available for drop-in patrons. We are better able to meet your research needs if you can give us advance notice of your topic and your planned visit.

Richardson Library Reading Room

Using the Reading Room
Many of our materials are fragile, given their status as “antiques.” As such, we do have some special rules for people doing research with these historic collections. We prefer you not bring food or beverage into the library, but if you must, please keep them as far as possible from resources as possible. Help us protect our collection from inadvertent staining by washing your hands before and after handling documents. Gloves are not required except when handling photographic media; the Library will provide white cotton gloves, in a variety of sizes, for patron use. We ask that you use pencil, rather than pen, when taking notes, to avoid accidental stains and smears. Coat racks and shelves are available for any items you need to bring in the Library with you. You are permitted to take photos of resources using standard handheld devices (cameras, iPhones, etc.); personal scanners are not permitted. The Library is happy to provide scans or photocopies of needed documents, according to our fee scale, explained below. Finally, please take all cell phone calls outside the building, so that other patrons and volunteers will not be interrupted.

Research Assistance
The Library also has a dedicated group of volunteers who are happy to offer research assistance. Even if you are not able to visit the collections in person, our volunteers and staff can perform research on your behalf and contact you with the results. Simple questions can be answered for free; extensive research questions taking more than a half-hour of volunteer or staff research time may be subject to our fee schedule ($40 per hour). Copies or scans of information found may be sent, when the condition of the original permits; mailed documents are subject to a per-page copy fee plus postage. In-house scans for personal use are $5 plus costs for the CD and postage, if applicable.

Fee Schedule
Fee Schedule: Duplication & Services (PDF)
Fee Schedule: Publication (PDF)

8.5 x 11”: 20 cents/pg.
8.5 x 14”: 30 cents/pg.
11 x 17”: 75 cents/pg.

Postage: Single sheets may be sent for $1.50 (regular business envelope, 1 Forever stamp). Larger orders (large format copies, digital media, rolled maps, etc.) are sent through USPS, as well; minimum postage charge for these larger objects is $5. Insurance can be added, for a fee, if requested.

Digital media: If scans are preferred to hard copies, and files are too large to be emailed, images can be transferred to a CD, which can be mailed or picked up by the patron. There is a $2.50 charge to cover the cost of the CD, in addition to any time charges or postage costs (discussed above).

These fees are subject to change, without notice, as our costs increase, but we will do our best to keep this information current, for our patrons’ convenience.

Use of Colorado Railroad Museum Materials in Publications or for Commercial Purposes
For use in a commercial publication, report, film, videotape, or decoration of a business or private office, a one-time use fee per image will be charged, plus the cost of reproduction.

Up to 15 images: $30 per image
16+ images: $25 per image

No use fee is charged for use in a personal, professional, or academic use. Additionally, no use fee is charged to non-profit institutions or organizations that have 501(c)(3) status.

Duplication Service
Some materials are larger than we can reproduce in house. Additionally, we do not have the means to make high-quality photo print duplicates. If you need a high-quality photo print or a large-format document, we do have outside companies with whom we work to provide these resources for patrons. Please contact us with information about your request if you think this may apply to your situation, and we can discuss your options and the associated costs.

Contact Us
Richardson Library
Colorado Railroad Museum
17155 W. 44th Ave.
Golden, CO 80403



Library Hours
Tuesday – *Saturday
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
For appointments and inquiries please call: 303-279-4591

*Please note that the Library does not open until 12:30p.m. on the second Saturday of every month, due to meetings held in the Library.