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…

“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…

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…

Fantastic Finds for Friday: the Anatomical Drawings of Andrew McWhinnie

This month’s Fantastic Find is a collection of anatomical diagrams and sketches drawn with painstaking precision by the anatomist and general surgeon Andrew Melville McWhinnie. Here at the RCOG archive we hold six plates taken from one of McWhinnie’s surgical publications. They were transferred to the Archive in 2012 during a reorganisation of the heritage…

Louise Bourgeois’s Observations: the earliest printed work by a midwife

This month our blog features a guest post from Valerie Worth-Stylianou. Valerie is a Senior Tutor at Trinity College and the Mellon-TORCH Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of Oxford. This blog post features an in-depth look at one of the RCOG’s early printed books which featured at the recent Knowledge Exchange workshop hosted by…

Celebrating 500 years of Pregnancy and Birth

Since April this year the library and archives of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has been involved in a Knowledge Exchange Partnership with The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities and the De Partu History of Childbirth Group. The partnership mines the college’s rich collection of over 2000 books and extensive archive material…

Fantastic Finds for Friday: Exciting new collections for the RCOG!!

It isn’t often that we receive new collections for the RCOG heritage collections, so you can imagine how excited I am to bring you news of two new and interesting additions to the unique collections held here in Sussex Place! The first is a collection of obstetric and gynaecological instruments which were used in the…

Fab Find for Friday: Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Forget about the month of March being dedicated to the Roman God, Mars, who was the god of agriculture and warfare – it is undoubtedly the month for women worldwide! The list of dates observed during March include International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, as well as Women’s History Day, and the whole month is…

Fantastic Finds for Friday: Roses for Valentine’s Day?

  Valentine’s Day. Not much romance in a medical college devoted to obstetrics and gynaecology, I thought, as I wracked my brains to come up with a blog post for this week. So my mind drifted from hearts and chocolates to roses, then the nursery song, ‘Ring a Ring of Roses’ popped into my head, and…