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Library Services, 2017-2020

The Royal College of Surgeons’ Library in Lincoln’s Inn Fields closed to visitors in May 2017 as part of a major refurbishment project due to be completed in 2020. However, access to our online resources and services is unaffected, with members of staff supporting them throughout the project. See our FAQ section below for more information on specific services.

Staff are here to help you Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5:30 pm. For general library enquiries, call 020 7869 6555 or email, or for online journal and resource enquiries, call 020 7869 6556 or email

We opened a dedicated Library Enquiry Point in the Nuffield Lounge in October. Members can make an appointment at any time with a member of the Library team for advice on services, or drop in during opening hours (Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 3 pm). Books from our short loan collection will be available to borrow. Please contact us at or 020 7869 6555 to book an appointment or if you have a question.

Changes to Library services

The Library space closed to all visitors in May to allow essential work on the collections to be completed and for their removal to offsite locations, and will remain closed throughout the three-year redevelopment project. Please be aware that there is no dedicated Library study/research space in the Lincoln’s Inn Fields building during this period.

In the meantime, we are working with partner institutions to provide managed access to our collections for study and research. Researchers will be able to make appointments to consult items from our historical collections from autumn 2017.

We look forward to re-opening the Library in 2020 in refurbished and restored spaces where our collections can be discovered, viewed and studied. You can follow this process through our Library Blog.

Find out more about the “Transforming Surgery for Tomorrow” programme.


Access to online resources

Access to our online resources will be unaffected by the redevelopment project at our Lincoln's Inn Field home. RCS and FGDP members will continue to have full access to e-journals, e-books and databases with support available via our help pages or by contacting staff via email

Literature Search service

The Literature Search Service will continue to be available for members. Access to our online resources will be unaffected by the redevelopment project.

Current Awareness Service

The Current Awareness Service will continue as normal. Access to our online resources will be unaffected by the redevelopment project with staff supporting these services throughout.

Document Delivery service

During the preparation and removal period we will not be able to support a full Document Delivery service from our print collections. We will continue to provide articles from our online holdings as normal. If we are unable to supply an article from our collections, the request can be supplied via the British Library. Please see our Document Delivery page for more details on ordering articles.


From January 2017, access to print journal titles has become more limited as collections are prepared for the move off-site. Articles can be requested via our Document Delivery service if titles are unavailable.

Over 90% of our current journal holdings are available electronically and access to these will be unaffected during the project. Use SurgiCat+ or the Journal Finder to search for titles held by the RCS.

Historical Collections

The closure of the Library in May 2017 means that our historical collections will not be accessible until autumn 2017, when new arrangements with partner organisations will become available. Please contact if you have any questions.

19th Century Tracts & Pamphlets

As part of the UK Medical Heritage Library project, 21,500 nineteenth-century tracts and pamphlets from our collections have been digitised to make them accessible to the public. They are available via JISC and can be viewed online or downloaded as a pdf.

Borrowing books

The Library closed in May 2017 to prepare collections for the move offsite. The borrowing service has been suspended until autumn 2017. Please email if you have any questions.

While we need to recall all loans in order to move our collections to a new offsite location, we will be able to retrieve these items for loan in future. We anticipate this being possible in autumn 2017.

Books for exam preparation

The collection of books for exam preparation will remain onsite. Members will be able to borrow these books from the Library Enquiry Point in the Nuffield Lounge from 10 October 2017. The Enquiry Point will be staffed Tuesday to Thursday, 10 am to 3 pm.

Books and other material available electronically

There are over 1000 textbooks and reference manuals available via our subscription to ClinicalKey which allows book chapters to be saved as PDFs to be read later. Members can access ClinicalKey using their College Login details and illustrated help on accessing the service can be found on Surgicat+.

Library Enquiry Point

The Library Enquiry Point is situated in the Nuffield Lounge on the ground floor of the Nuffield Building. Members can book a 1-to-1 appointment with a member of the Library team for advice on our resources and services, or borrow exam preparation books from our short loan collection. If you are visiting the College, drop-in consultations will be possible when the desk is open.

The Library Enquiry Point will be staffed Tuesday to Thursday, 10 am to 3 pm.

If you would like to book an appointment, please email us at Appointments can be made for 9 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday.

The Library Enquiry Point will open on Tuesday 10 October 2017.

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