Lionel Thomas Caswell (Tom) Rolt was born in Chester in 1910. After serving engineering apprenticeships, setting up a garage business, and helping to establish the Vintage Sports Car Club, he became a full-time writer in 1939. As an author his publications cover canals, railways, motor cars, and many other aspects of engineering history. His biographies of great engineers, such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), are still highly regarded. As a campaigner, activist and champion of industrial heritage Rolt is best known for his involvement with the Inland Waterways Association, the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society, the Newcomen Society, and the Association of Industrial Archaeology.

Rolt was a regular collaborator with Professor Angus Buchanan, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, leading to the establishment of the University of Bath Rolt Fellowship. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University in 1973.

The collection, a comprehensive library of Rolt's works, was painstakingly assembled over a number of years and donated to the University of Bath by Mr. Peter Roberts in June 2021.

The collection is not yet fully catalogued. Please email the University Archivist for further details.

Size: Over 1,000 items.