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What's in the Archives?

The archives of the Royal College of Surgeons of England hold both institutional records and other deposited collections, providing a unique resource illustrating the development of surgery and the surgical profession.

Institutional records

The institutional records document the activities of the College throughout its history from its beginnings as the Company of Surgeons (1745-1800), through its incorporation as a Royal College in 1800 to the present day. These archives reveal the inner workings of the College and the initiatives that have taken place throughout our history to support and develop the surgical profession.

Deposited records

The deposited archive and manuscript collections have been accumulated by the College through purchase, donation or deposit since its foundation relating to medicine and surgery from the 16th to 20th centuries. These collections include the personal papers and case notes of surgeons, a small number of hospital records, collections of correspondence, and a variety of individual items including diaries, photograph albums, recipe books, lecture notes and drawings.

Archive catalogue online

Many of the deposited archive and manuscript collections have been catalogued on our online museum and archive catalogue Surgicat. We regularly add newly catalogued material so please check for new additions.

Please contact us if you are interested in anything you cannot locate in the catalogue.