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Literature, Images and Other Research Resources

Since the earliest days, cycles and cycling have inspired writers.


Eclipse catalogue cover, 1897

The cycle holdings of the Museum are supported by a comprehensive collection of related literature, much of which is part of the Shields collection.

Spanning over 150 years, the collection contains a rich variety of printed matter on cycling from prose and poetry to published accounts of travels, books on how to ride, buy and repair various cycles, periodicals produced by clubs, manufacturers and others, and many different types of trade literature. It has strong holdings related to velocipedes and ordinaries, and to the development and construction of early safety cycles.

Among the oldest sources are newspapers from 1819 and 1820 that document the hobbyhorse fad in Britain. These are complemented by dozens of caricatures of hobbyhorse users by such artists as Thomas Rowlandson and George Cruikshank. Those researching Canadian cycling history can consult a rare copy of W.N. Robertson’s book, Cycling, published in Stratford, Ontario, in 1894.