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 of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. 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.

LIBRARY HOURS:

TUESDAY-SATURDAY

11:00 AM – 3: 00 PM

*We are open 12:00PM – 3:00PM on the 2nd Saturday of every month.

Research Requests

Our research volunteers can answer general railroad questions for a small fee. In your request, please clearly define the information you would like us to look for (such as railroad company, event, date, or document). 

When will I get the results? Requests are handled in the order they are received. Turnaround time is 20-25 business days from receipt of payment.

Can I publish the results of the research? If you would like to publish a reproduction of an item in our collections, please see our Reproduction Use Agreement.

Do you have information on my relative who worked on the railroad?  You are welcome to contact us to look for your relative(s), but be advised that we have few employee records and no employee photographs. Since we have so little information, we do not charge a fee for this kind of research. If you would like us to search for a relative, please email us at ResearchVolunteer@crrm.org with the following information:

Entitle your subject line “Employee Research”. In the body of your message, please include:

    1. Full name(s) of your relative(s).
    2. Approximate dates they were employed.
    3. Railroad company in which they worked. If you don’t know the company, it is also helpful if you know the city or town in which they worked.
    4. Any other information you know, such as their birth or death dates, the position they held, etc.

Questions? If you have questions about your research request, please contact us at 720-274-5148 or email ResearchVolunteer@crrm.org. For technical questions concerning the online payment portal, please contact Online Store Support.

Payment is required before we can begin to research your request. Please note that we may not be able to answer your question, depending on the materials we have and the nature of your question.

Your research payment helps support the preservation and care of our library, archive, and artifact collections at the Colorado Railroad Museum.

Instructions for submitting a research request

  1. Make payment for a Research Request Fee in the Museum’s Online Depot General Store here.
  2. Download and complete the Research Request Form located here.
  3. Return your completed Research Request Form by email to ResearchVolunteer@crrm.org or by mail to:

Robert W. Richardson Library: Research
Colorado Railroad Museum
17155 W. 44th Avenue, Golden, CO, 80403

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

Publications

Since the 1960s, the Colorado Railroad Museum has published books about railroading; primarily Colorado railroad history. Shop online or visit the Museum Gift Shop to view and purchase our past publications.

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

We are currently revising our Guidelines for Authors. Please check back later for updates.

Library & Artifact Collections

We have one of the largest collections of Colorado and Rocky Mountain 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 public hours of Tuesday-Saturday, 11am to 3pm. For detailed research requests, please make an appointment by emailing our Curator of Collections at library@crrm.org.

Accessing Off-site Materials

Some of our research materials are stored in boxes outside of our Library. If you wish to examine these boxes, please email our Curator of Collections at library@crrm.org to set up an appointment.  There is a $10.00 fee per off-site box. Please note that the maximum number of boxes you can request for one visit is 15 and you must notify us at least 10 business days prior to your visit so that we can arrange to retrieve the boxes. Access to boxes outside of the Library is at the discretion of the Curator and is contingent upon fragility of materials, safety of storage areas, weather, availability of staff and transportation vehicles, and museum events. We cannot do “rush” orders.

Donations to the Collection

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, please contact our Curator of Collections.  If we determine that you have an item which will help fill a crucial gap in our collections, we may decide to accept it.

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 collection storage areas are overflowing.  

Therefore, the Museum does not accept unsolicited donations through the mail or in-person. If a donation is accepted, a Curator will advise the donor on the most appropriate method to receive the gift. Depending on the collection, options include shipping or scheduling a time for pick up or delivery. Shipping collections to the Museum will be at the donor’s expense.

We thank you in advance for thinking of us as a recipient of your items, and we greatly appreciate your cooperation with this matter. 

“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.

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