Ranking as one of the major railway Collections in Britain, this Collection is the legacy of a lifelong study of transport, especially railways, by Andrew C. O’ Dell (1909-66), first Professor of Geography in the University of Aberdeen. The Collection includes all aspects of transport, with an emphasis on the North and North-east of Scotland, particularly the history of the Great North of Scotland Railway Company (1854-1922). The resource potential, especially for those interested in the North-east of Scotland, for geographers, economists and social historians is significant.

Keywords: Transportation; railways; economics; law.

Strengths: The Collection is particularly relevant to railway transport in the North-east of Scotland, and offers a wide range of ephemera, maps, timetables, guide books for the many railway companies that operated in Scotland and in England and Wales (as well as in Europe and world-wide). There are also small sequences of works on inland waterways, sea transport, road and aviation. Some of the highlights include: an unbroken run of Bradshaw's Railway Manual (1858-1923); a full run of the Railway Magazine from 1897 onwards; plans and maps of Scottish railway routes which date from the 1850s to the 1900s; 128 scrapbook volumes compiled by Professor O' Dell which contain much material of local interest (seven quarto and seven folio volumes concern the GNSR itself), as well as newspaper cuttings, magazine articles, pamphlets and ephemera relating to other British and foreign railways.

Languages:English, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Finnish, Norwegian

Identifier: O' Dell

Physical characteristics: Over 10000 volumes.

Accumulation date range: 1920s-present

Contents date range: 1830s-present

Associated Publications: Forrest, Vivienne, 'Railway Times', Leopard (July 1990), 28-29. Manson, T. M. Y. The late Professor A. C. O'Dell (n.p.: n.pub., 1966). O' Dell, Andrew C. (comp.), Catalogue of the Railway library of Andrew C. O'Dell (Aberdeen: n.pub., 196-?). Ottley, George, Railway History: A Guide to 61 Collections in Libraries and Archives in Great Britain (London: Library Association, 1973). Smith, C., 'The O' Dell Transport Collection', Great North Review, 4 (August 1967), 41-2. Smith, Gordon C. K., 'The O' Dell transport collection and local railway history', Aberdeen University Review, 43 (1969-70). 33-38. Walton, Kenneth, 'Professor Andrew Charles O' Dell', Aberdeen University Review, 41 (1965-66), 289-90. Anderson-Smith, M., 'The O' Dell Railway Connection in Aberdeen University Library,' Locscot, 1 (Spring, 1985), 150-53. AU MS 2882 Papers of Andrew C. O' Dell (1909-66), geographer. Available on Library OPAC or WebPAC

Accrual Status: Partial. Acquisition policy restricts new items to major railway publications relating to Scotland that are of a lasting scholarly value; and titles which are concerned with railway transport in the north-east of Scotland.

Custodial history/provenance: Bequeathed by Professor Andrew C. O' Dell (1909-66), Professor of Geography at the University of Aberdeen (1951-66). Later donations, mainly from former graduates, have also increased not only the size but the scope of the Collection.

Access Control: Closed access - please request. Borrowable with some reference-only material.