A Surgeon and his Dog

Few things are more iconic than the image of a man and his dog. Today’s Explore Your Archive blog post looks at RCOG co-founder William Blair-Bell and his relationship with animals and with country life. While he had no children, Blair-Bell did keep dogs at his country house, Eardiston Estate. The most personal and humanising…

Blair-Bell’s Cancer Curiosities

Today’s Explore Your Archive post follows the theme of scientific innovation and advancement. Not surprisingly, the heritage collections of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists are full of treasures, curiosities and mysteries concerning the history of medicine. Our collections cover a wide range of specialties in addition to our extensive papers and publications on…

Stephen McGann from BBC’s Call the Midwife visits the RCOG

For today’s Explore Your Archive post, themed around ‘A Year in Archives’, we’re taking a short detour from the life, work and times of William Blair-Bell to focus on the achievements of our College’s library and heritage services. This year has been a busy one for us. We welcomed a new Archivist as well as…

A Very Recognisable Head of Hair

Look at any group photograph of the Gynaecological Visiting Society and one head always stands out: that of the GVS’s and the RCOG’s co-founder William Blair-Bell. In a sea of dark hair and balding heads, Blair-Bell’s head of striking white hair (which, according to his friend Fletcher Shaw, ‘time whitened without thinning’) is instantly recognisable….

“Many Charming Letters” from Blair-Bell to Fletcher Shaw

Today’s post for Explore Your Archive Week offers a sneak peek at our latest exhibit, which opens in the RCOG Library tomorrow. Our exhibit “Many Charming Letters” showcases the founding years of the College through the letters, mementos and photographs of its founders, William Blair-Bell and William Fletcher Shaw. A star of the exhibit is…

‘A felicitous courtship…’ Blair-Bell and the Founding of the Gynaecological Visiting Society

Today’s Explore Your Archive blog post takes a quick look at Blair-Bell’s ‘first baby’: The Gynaecological Visiting Society. RCOG co-founder William Blair-Bell was certainly a powerhouse in the world of obstetrics and gynaecology, juggling research, publication and teaching positions during his busy career. But even he knew that without a network of strong medical practitioners…

“A restless, lovable torch-bearer”: Who Was William Blair-Bell?

In 48 hours, archives and heritage services around the country will kick off Explore Your Archive Week 2016! This event, run by The National Archives and the Archives and Records Association from 19th-27th November, brings our archives together to show off the best their collections have to offer. Here at the Archive of the Royal…

Something of Our Own: The Story Behind Fellows and Members Robes at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists will be holding its next Fellows Admissions Ceremony at its headquarters near Regent’s Park this Friday. The ceremony marks the formal confirming of Fellowship and Honorary Fellowship status to eligible members of the College. All obstetric and gynaecological practitioners who complete the RCOG’s membership examinations and fulfil certain…

Fantastic Finds for Friday: A Letter from Florence Nightingale

This month’s Fantastic Find comes courtesy of the ‘Lady of the Lamp’. There are few nurses more well known than Florence Nightingale (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910). Venerated as a hero of the Crimean War for her management of nurses treating wounded soldiers, Nightingale was also an author. Her book Notes on Nursing: What…