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Library collections

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The RCOG Library has a unique collection of books, reports and journals covering women’s health from 1478 onwards.

In March 2011 the Royal College of Midwives collection of books, journals, archives and artefacts relating to the current practice and history of midwifery was merged with the RCOG. This combined collection brings together material from the broad spectrum of women’s health providing an unparalleled resource for education research and information.

Digital materials

RCOG Fellows, Members and registered Trainees can access our digital resources (eJournals, eBooks and databases) online (please note you will need to be signed in to the website).

RCM members can access eBooks, databases and other digital resources via the RCM library page by signing in to the RCM website.

Print collections

Current print material is available to browse in the reading room. We also hold an extensive collection of earlier material, including past editions of major textbooks and complete back runs of core journals. We are one of only 2 libraries in the world to hold the complete collection of Nursing Notes from 1887. View the list of print journals in our collections.

Our collections also hold historical works on women’s health. The collection amounts to over 2000 books dating from the 15th century, including two incunables, 18 STC and 38 Wing items. We hold major works such as the obstetric atlases of Smellie and Hunter in multiple editions.

Other materials of interest are runs of clinical reports from maternity hospitals in Britain and Ireland and overseas.

As well as antique obstetric and gynaecological books, the library holds editions of Vesalius’ anatomy and literature on Servetus and his discovery of the circulation of the blood.

The historical collection is complemented by a range of secondary literature on the history of the specialty.

Library catalogue

As the first step of a plan to deliver a single, digital source of information about the library and heritage (archive, rare books, museum and artworks) collections, the current Library catalogue will not be available online from 1 October 2020. For the time being, Library and Heritage collections can be accessed in the following ways:

Contact us

To contact the RCOG library, please email us at or call +44 20 7772 6309.

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