Going Underground with the Institute of Historical Research: Marking 150 Years of the Tube

The Institute of Historical Research is about to hold a conference (17-18 January) “Going Underground: Travel Beneath the Metropolis, 1863-1913” to mark the 150th anniversary of the London Underground. Senate House Library was pleased to offer a small display in the Jessel Room, on the first floor of Senate House, to support the event. Since 1908, when the University purchased manuscripts and pamphlets about railways which had belonged to the railway engineer John Urpeth Rastrick, the Library has had strong holdings on railways within its Goldsmiths Library of Economic Literature, and over the years several accruals have concerned the tube, from booklets about individual lines to maps and monographs. The books in the display show enduring general interest in the London Underground. The main exhibit is a large map at a scale of 1:15,840 and measuring 111.8 by 102.8 centimetres. Produced by Robert. J. Cook & Hammond in 1903, this shows lines running, lines under construction and lines proposed. Its limits are Highgate, Wimbledon, Wormwood Scrubs and the Isle of Dogs. The map was too large to fit in the display case in its entirety, but we ensured local relevance by including Russell Square in the portion shown.

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