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Services for Researchers and the Public

Research into medical subjects

Bona fide researchers, professional or otherwise, may come and use the Reading Rooms during opening hours on an appointment basis. Resources include extensive runs of many journals, wireless access to the Internet and onsite access to many of our electronic journals, plus printing and copying facilities.

Please contact the Library (020 7869 6556, to find out more and book your visit at least one working day before your planned arrival. This is so that we can have forms and suitable materials available when you arrive. There may also be a fee, depending on the nature of your research and the facilities you require.

The Library catalogue will help you decide what you need before your arrival.

Historical research

The College possesses one of the finest historical medical collections, including many rare and unique items, recognised as a Designated Collection by Arts Council England. The collections are particularly strong in anatomy and surgery, with comparative anatomy and natural history also well represented.

You are welcome to use our collections for research and we are happy to help you get started. The rarity and condition of some items may place restrictions on access and copying, but we will do our best to meet your needs. You will need to arrange an appointment by emailing

Family history research

If you are researching your family history and believe that an ancestor was a member, we are happy to help.

A large number of Fellows' obituaries are now available online at Plarr's Lives of the Fellows, and we can also arrange access to appropriate archive materials.

Please contact the Archives for more information.

Members of the public

Individuals wishing to see our historic Reading Room and our temporary exhibitions about aspects of the history of surgery or medicine are welcome to visit. If you visit from Tuesday to Friday, you can combine your visit with a trip to the award-winning Hunterian Museum.

Please note:

All use of the Library and its services is at the discretion of the Director of Library and Surgical Information Services, and is dependent on compliance with the Library's regulations.

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