Social Aspects of Transport: People, Products and Politics.

MS 4613 Bus Ticket Machine (Public Works Department 1974)

MS 4613 Bus Ticket Machine [Public Works Department 1974]

At 6.30 pm at the Library of Birmingham on 12th December 2013, there will be a talk exploring various aspects of transport, when archivist Jim Ranahan will examine how the Library’s collections can support research into transport beyond the more usual concentration on technical and operational matters.

Birmingham has a long association with many modes of transport: as a hub for the national canal, rail and motorway networks; as a manufacturer of vessels and vehicles to use these networks; as the home of major public transport operators (Birmingham City Transport, Midland Red) and as the home of very many communities whose early employment opportunities included public transport providers.  Our collections reflect this varied association and a selected list is provided below.

The Wingate Bett Collection of transport tickets is one of the Library’s iconic collections.  It is well known amongst collectors of tickets and transport enthusiasts more generally.  However, it also has great potential for visual industry researchers, as the number of enquiries generated by its website gallery testify: see www.libraryofbirmingham.com

illustrate ticket with Hovercraft on front for crossing from Ramsgate to Calais. 20th century.

Illustrated ticket with Hovercraft on front for crossing from Ramsgate to Calais. 20th century.  [Hover Lloyd Ticket, Wingate Bett Collection]

However, the Wingate Bett Collection has even more research potential and this will be considered, in conjunction with opportunities provided by other collections.  Themes include commuting, tourism, migration, employment and equality issues, concentration and dispersal of populations and industries over time – and politics.  This is a very topical aspect of transport, not least because of current controversies over High Speed Two and recent challenges to the principle of Freedom of Movement within Europe.

Tram moving up the Bristol Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. [WK/E1/274]

Tram moving up the Bristol Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. [WK/E1/274]

If you wish to hear more about these aspects of transport, please note the following details:

Thursday 12th December 2013   6.30–7.30pm                                         Library of Birmingham Room 104   Tickets £3

Box Office: 0121 245 4455   www.birmingham-box.co.uk

A Selected List of Relevant Collections at the Library of Birmingham

MS 86 : Birmingham Canal Navigations: Minutes, accounts, plans etc
BCC 1/BE : Birmingham Transport Committee: Minutes – Operations & infrastructure
BCC 1/AO : Birmingham Public Works Committee Minutes – Infrastructure
MS 99 : Metro-Cammell, Rail and Bus Manufacture
Railway Collection : Plans, Photographs, Timetables etc
Wingate Bett Collection : Transport Tickets

Jim Ranahan, Archivist

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