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RCOG museum

The RCOG Museum is unique in the UK with its focus on women’s health care.

The Museum collections have grown through gifts and acquisitions since the foundation of the College, and now includes the complementary collection of the Royal College of Midwives.

The world famous Chamberlen forceps came to the RCOG in 1957, a gift from the Royal Society of Medicine, and are displayed on the 1st floor of the College. These 16th-17th century instruments were used in secret by the Chamberlens for over a century before their application became widespread. Their discovery in 1813, in an attic trapdoor at the family’s old house, allowed people to finally see the original designs of what became a ubiquitous tool in obstetrics.


Main display

The lower ground floor houses a display of items covering the history of women’s health care over several centuries. Including images taken from the College’s comprehensive rare book collection, this display showcases artefacts such as prototype medical devices and material that covers recent social changes to attitudes around women’s health.


Henry Simpson

Art works

In addition to the medical artefacts, the College has a considerable collection of paintings and sculptures related to the field of women’s health care and well-being, the College’s history, and its leading figures. These are displayed throughout the College building – many can be viewed on the Art UK project website.


Visit the Museum

The Museum is open to the public, Monday-Friday 10am-4pm (except bank holidays and selected other dates – please contact us to check, for more information, or to book a guided tour (subject to staff availability) email the Heritage Team at

We regret that we will stop running guided tours from 1 July 2019 while we prepare for our relocation. Please contact us via the above email to be added to our mailing list and we will update once our Museum service and tours are fully up and running at our new home at Union Street.


Please note that the RCOG does not hold any material which falls under the Human Tissue Act.


Elsewhere on the site

History of the College
Find out how the RCOG was founded, and its subsequent development
What we do
Find out about the College’s current activities and scope of work