Archives Research Guide: Power Generation and Supply

This guide offers an overview of the main collections relevant to this topic including records of power stations, photographs and log books, personal papers, correspondence and reports of UK and non-UK countries.  


  • Croydon 'A', Stepney and Battersea Power Stations, 1900-1972 - NAEST 001
    The material covers everyday maintenance by staff and by the servicing companies, records of daily checks and tests on plant such as battery and boiler tests, log books and key issue books.  There are also minutes of the meetings of the Works Committee and Efficiency Meetings. There are large numbers of plans and technical diagrams.
    The records also show the development of supplier companies such as English Electric Company, Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company Ltd  George Kent and Negretti and Zambra.  

  • T Frank Bodle Collection, 1912-1979 - NAEST 016
    Books and pamphlets relating to electricity generation and notes and material collected by donor referring to power stations in South East England. 

  • Papers re Battersea Power Station breakdown 29 July 1934 (1934, 1984) - NAEST 078
    Letter from J V Brooks to George Maxwell Davidson giving a personal account of the breakdown at Battersea Power Station, newspaper cutting describing the breakdown and letter from Mrs Davidson describing background information. 

  • HMSO, HMSO/Electricity Commission, British Electricity Authority Publications, 1927-1954 - NAEST 118
    Printed reports on Overhead Line regulations, Main Line Railway Electrification, Central Scotland Electricity Scheme, an electricity breakdown in Blackpool, Lytham St Annes and Fleetwood on 6 January 1939, fire risks at generating stations, British Electricity its organisation under public ownership and a programme for its development. 

  • Barking A and B Power Stations - plant description and instruction books, 1924-1933 - NAEST 119
    Each volume contains text, descriptions and instructions, followed by a set of fold-out plans and refer to the Engine Room, the 1926 extensions, the 1930 extensions and operating notes for electrical equipment and the boiler room. 

  • Deptford Generating Station, 1888-1892, 1933 - SC MSS 059
    Photograph album showing the building of the Deptford Generating Station 1888-1892, and few photographs showing it being dismantled in 1933.

  • UNIPEDE, 1958-1976 - SC MSS 159/07/07
    Conference publications, information leaflets, menus, photographs and other memorabilia from UNIPEDE [International Union of Producers and Distributors of Electrical Energy] conferences of 1958 (Switzerland) and 1964 (Scandinavia). Also includes UNIPEDE brochure from 1976 explaining its role and position.

  • International power utilities: United States and France, 1964 - SC MSS 159/07/08
    Correspondence and copies of articles on the performance of electrical utilities in the US and France.  With information and press cutting on the situation in the UK.  Information provided by members of the Electricity Council while Melling was Deputy Chairman.

  • International power utilities: United States and Philippines, 1964 - SC MSS 159/07/09
    Correspondence and reports on power generation in the US and staff visiting the UK from the Philippines.  Correspondence exchanged with Melling while he was Deputy Chairman of the Electricity Council.

Keywords for searching the online catalogue:

Power stations
Electric generators
Electric Power Generation
Central Electric Generation Board
  Photograph of Tongland substation from SCMSS 091

See also

Sebastian Ferranti biography

John Meares biography

Darjeeling Hydro Electric Power Scheme

Charles Merz- letters from Boston

There is also a series of Garcke's Manual of Electrical Undertakings from 1896-1960 held at the IET Archives. 

You can search the Library online catalogue for publications, journals, pamphlets and reports relating to power generation and power supply.

IET Energy Sector