Using the Library


Some materials are housed off site in the Statewide Museum Collections Center. Please contact Library staff at least a week in advance of your visit to allow Staff time to bring requested items to the Library reading room. Library hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The Library is closed on all state holidays and the Saturdays during Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

The California State Railroad Museum Library provides public access to the Museum's documentary collections. The Library is located adjacent to the Museum of Railroad History on the second floor of the Big Four Building at 111 "I" Street. The reading room is open to the public without charge Tuesday through Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Library materials do not circulate and may only be used in the reading room. There is an extensive set of railroad history and reference books, as well as periodicals, available for review in the reading room. The remainder of the collection is in closed stacks or housed off-site.

To be certain the collection you want to see will be available, contact staff ahead of time.


Phone: (916) 323-8073
Fax: (916) 327-5655
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Please register upon arrival. A coat rack is available for the convenience of researchers who will be required to deposit briefcases, backpacks, purses, coats and other personal property not essential to their work in the reading room. Personal books and papers brought to the reading room are subject to examination upon departure.

Use only a pencil to take notes. Personal computers are allowed. Scanners, cameras and personal photocopiers are not permitted.

Drinking and eating are prohibited in the reading room. Please be considerate of other researchers. Speak quietly, or leave the reading room for extended conversations.

Patrons will be asked to complete a request slip for each item retrieved from the Library stacks. Readers are responsible for the use and return of materials they have requested and may not lend or exchange them with other readers. The number of materials available for use at one time may be restricted. All material must be returned to the reference desk upon completion. Materials will not be paged from the Library stacks after 4:30 p.m.

Materials are to be handled with care and returned in the order and condition in which they are received. Photographs must be handled with gloves.

Never mark on Library materials or remove items from protective sleeves. If you notice filing or cataloging errors, please bring them to the attention of a staff member.