The Collection began over 20 years ago and has been growing ever since. It is the second largest collection of railway material in the country, beaten only by the National Railway Museum in York
All the books in the Collection are arranged according to a classification scheme based on that devised by George Ottley for his Bibliography of Railway History, A guide to this is available in the library. Items in the Collection form part of the Devon Libraries catalogue on the web.
There is comprehensive material on Westcountry railways from the GWR and LSWR era up to the present day with a substantial amount of information on the remainder of the UK railway network. As well as covering standard gauge railways the Collection also caters for other areas of interest, for example, broad/narrow gauge, industrial/underground , miniature/model and preserved railways.