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ICE Archives

ICE Archives contain records relating to the ICE from its formation in 1818 to the present.

These include the Minutes of the first meeting at the Kendal Coffee House and the definition of civil engineering as written by Thomas Tredgold for the Royal Charter, manuscripts, notebooks, drawings, photos and papers on past construction projects – from Marc Brunel's Thames Tunnel to today's Channel Tunnel.

Cast iron bridge near Coal Brook Dale in the County of Salop - Rennie engravings, 1782

The Archives has a small collection of civil engineering drawings.

They include the Rennie drawings and engravings, Coode drawings - 19th century harbour works, Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners - 19th and early 20th century projects and John Taylor & Sons - Water supply and sewage schemes.

There are also over 500 drawings in the Mackenzie collection including plans and details of UK and continental railways.

Also available in the archives is Sir Alexander Gibb's research on Thomas Telford.

An accident with one of the caissons during the construction of the Forth Railway Bridge - Photograph, 1885

The Archives contain original photographs of various civil engineering projects dating back to the 1850's.

These includes over 30 albums and collections of photographs of, for example, the Forth Bridge, I. K. Brunel's Great Eastern, the Manchester Ship canal as well as overseas projects including bridges in India and railways in South America.

There are also many individual prints and a large collection of glass slides covering subjects from the late 19th century onwards.

An early notebook by John Grundy - 1740

There are notebooks by John Grundy, 1740 and William Weston, (1780–98) to the relatively recent notebooks of J. Husband (1920) of the consulting firm of the same name.

There are collections of diaries for James Brindley (1759-63) and Thomas Gooch (1823-33).

There are also various individual and sets of letters including those from John Fowler, between William Fairbairn, Robert Stephenson and Edwin Clark (1845-48) and between Thomas Telford and the Little family (1772-1833).

Search and order material

The entire collection can now be searched online via the online catalogue.

If you're planning a visit, please search the catalogue to locate the records you would like to view.

The ICE Archives are open to ICE members, researchers and any member of the public. Note that a majority of our archive material is stored off site; as such an appointment should be made in advance.

This will allow us enough time to retrieve the material from external storage.

Depending on the fragility of the material copies can be made in person during a visit or a request can be made to the archivists for some items to be copied on your behalf. A fee will be applied for this service.

Search library catalogue

ICE Archives newsletter

Our newsletter highlighting how the ICE Archives helps deepen understanding of our heritage for the engineers and researchers of today is available to download.

Issue 1
Digging Deeper (issue 1)

Spring 2020

Author(s): Mike Chrimes, Carol Morgan and Paul O’Donnell

PDF, 445kB

Issue 2
Digging Deeper (issue 2)

Summer 2020

Author(s): Mike Chrimes, Sarah Mayfield and Carol Morgan

PDF, 629kB

Issue 3
Digging Deeper (issue 3)

Spring 2024

Author(s): Mike Chrimes, Alison Cable, Constantin Ardeleanu and Carol Morgan

PDF, 741kB

Contact and visiting information

One Great George Street
London, SW1P 3AA

The Library Information Desk in the Members Resources Hub is open Monday - Friday 09:15 - 17:30.


Meet our archivist - Carol Morgan

Carol Morgan

Carol is a highly energetic and massively enthusiastic book worm. She knows precisely how things should be and makes things happen. Whether it's suggesting reading material for an Oxbridge hopeful, or supporting an extended project pupil, I have valued Carol's support.