A Joint Blog for Explore Your Archive Week 2017

To mark this year’s Explore Your Archive Week, the RCOG Archive has teamed up with its sister Colleges, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). Our joint-blog post delves into what our individual archives hold and where researchers can go to find out more about the…

Safe, simple, reliable: the hidden history of tampons

In August 1941, College co-founder and then President William Fletcher Shaw was contacted by the British Medical Association for advice on the safety of Tampax brand tampons. The British Medical Journal had included an advertisement for the brand in their July issue. The full page advert reassured readers that its products were ‘entirely safe, simple…

Pioneers: Alice Bloomfield

Born in India, Alice Bloomfield and her family moved back to Britain after the death of her father. With a view to becoming the family breadwinner, Alice enrolled as a medical student at Edinburgh University where she graduated with first class honours in 1919. Her keen mind and academic brilliance made a star in the…

An interview with William Fletcher Shaw on his visit to Australia in 1947

Seventy years ago, RCOG President and co-founder Sir William Fletcher-Shaw travelled to Australia to hold a membership examination in the country for the first time in the College’s history. While making this historic visit, Fletcher-Shaw gave a brief interview, which gives us one of the few recordings we have of him in our collections. But…

The Most Beautiful President’s Badge in London

The RCOG Library and Heritage Service extends a big thank you to everyone who visited our blog and reading room during Explore Your Archive 2016! As we reach the end of this year’s campaign, our blog is taking an artistic turn. Today we look at Blair-Bell’s designs for the College’s presidential badge. In 1932, William…

A Very Lucky Gift

It has been a hectic week for the RCOG Heritage Service. We’ve hosted celebrity guests, showcased some of the best our historic midwifery collections have to offer, and we’ve paid tribute to one of the most complicated figures in our College’s history. To round off Explore Your Archive Week 2016 this weekend, we are highlighting…

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…

“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…

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: Midwifery and Gynaecology Examinations before the RCOG

This month’s Fantastic Find is a selection of examination papers for obstetric and gynaecological practitioners which predate the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists by over thirty years. The RCOG was only the third royal medical college to be established in England, but it is centuries younger than its predecessors: the Royal College of Physicians…