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Photograph Collection - Help File

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Photograph Collection - Help File

Photograph Collection - Help File

Photograph Collection - Help File

A page from the web site of the Historical Model Railway Society.
Wed 24 May 2017


This page is intended to give help on the system used to catalogue our photographs and present this information on the web site.

The information is recorded, as far as possible, in a structured way using standardised formats. In principle the following information may be recorded for each item:

HMRS photograph reference number

This is the unique integer number given to the photograph when it is entered into the system. This number should be used to order a copy of the photograph.


A drop down list provides the details  for the Railway Companie and/or Private Owner applicable to photograph. These will be used by the person searching the photograph list on the website - nothing needs to be typed in.

Because cataloguing has usually been done on the basis of names as given on photographs, consistency is not 100%, especially for large organisations like British Railways where sometimes regions or divisions have been regarded as having separate identities and sometimes not. If what you are looking for does not appear associated with the company name you expect, think carefully whether someone may have classified it slightly differently to the way you would have done and try again! Also remember that stock was transferred from one company to another so may be recorded under either company, possibly depending on the whim of the person doing the cataloguing.

The table of photographs actually stores a reference number rather than a name. The name, or abbreviation, can then be looked up from a separate table - this avoids errors caused by mis typing of names, use of slightly incorrect names, varying abbreviations etc.

When searching, the list of companies in the drop down list corresponds to those companies for which items have been catalogued. If you are looking for something from company X and this company does not appear, this does not mean that we have nothing from this company, only that nothing has yet been included in the web database.

Subject Type and sub-group

Note that the drop down list when searching includes only types that have been entered so far in the database - the absence of a type does not mean we have nothing of this type, only that this type has not been used yet in the database.


This is the interpretation of the photograph made by the person creating the catalogue entry - (s)he may have done it differently from the way you would.

When searching using the description box, items will be returned where the whole string entered matches exactly part of the description. Wild characters cannot be used. Entering "10T" as the search term will not find a description containing "10 Ton" but will find "10Ton".


The name of the organisation / person where the photographs were received from. The web database actually stores an identification number rather than a name.

Date of photograph

Dates have been entered in many ways, often being uncertain, so sorting cannot be done on date nor selection made by date range.


Information entered here is to help further identification, or may give additional reference information.


Information has not been recorded for most items, but where it is known that the HMRS holds the copyright then this is noted.

HMRS old catalogue number

This is included to aid finding the new reference where only the old one is known, for example where noted in old publications.