The museum and archive collections of The Royal College of Surgeons can now be searched via SurgiCat, our online catalogue. SurgiCat contains information and images about the objects and specimens in the museum and archive collections.
RCS Collections achieve Designated Status
In February 2013 the Arts Council England awarded Designated Status to the Hunterian Museum, Library and Archives held by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
The Designation Scheme benefits England's cultural heritage by identifying nationally significant cultural assets in museums, libraries and archives and building strrong understanding of our shared heritage. Through the Designation scheme, Arts Council England seeks to guard against the neglect or disposal of the nation's treasures.
We still add objects and specimens to the collection in line with our acquisitions policy. Items we have acquired recently include:
- An engraving of the College from 1828, after a painting by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd.
- A group portrait of the Board of the Faculty of Dental Surgery to commemorate its 60th anniversary
- A print by James Mundie of a conjoined skull from the Hunterian Collection.
- Three 19th-century portraits of important figures associated with the College from St George's Hospital Medical School
- A series of display pieces made by Margot Cooper of Limbs & Things Ltd, showing models used for surgical skills training.
We have been improving the catalogue records for things we already have. From 2009 we added records and images for our collections of medals, drug jars and silver, and improved the catalogue of our paintings and prints. We are currently midway through a long-term project in association with the Faculty of Dental Surgery to recatalogue our Odontological Collections. There are over 11,000 specimens. Visit our Collections page to find out more about the College's holdings.
Hepworth returns following conservation
After two months of hard work by conservator Laura Homer, Concourse (2) by Dame Barbara Hepworth is now restored to its former glory.
This project was made possible by the generous support of Royal College of Surgeons friends and donors. Find out how you can help the Royal College of Surgeons' work.
The Hunterian Museum and BAPRAS (the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons) have launched a joint project to catalogue the Anthony Wallace Archive. The archive contains instruments, drawings and photographs relating to the history of plastic surgery. View a list of objects from the archive.
To help researchers looking for information about the museum collections (past and present), we are compiling so finding aids for the museum archives, most of which are not yet listed on Surgicat.
- List of archives relating to excavated human remains, mostly from the UK, sent to the RCS museums before 1960 (PDF, 230k).
- List of museum letters, 1800-1850, in date and name order (PDFs, 600k)
- List of museum letters, 1858-1907, in date and name order (PDFs, 1.5MB)
- List of museum letters, 1907-1979, in date and name order (PDFs, 5MB)
- Supplementary list of museum letters, 1880s-1970s, in date and name order (PDFs, 200k)