Pioneers: Louisa Martindale (1873-1966) FRCOG 1933

Louisa Martindale was a pioneering surgeon, an ardent suffragist and one of the most influential figures in Brighton in the early 20th century. She was Brighton’s first female GP. She served with the Scottish Women’s Hospital at Royaumont during the First World War and as a surgeon in London during the Second World War. She…

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…

Pioneers: Frances Mabel Huxley

This month’s Pioneer is Frances Mabel Huxley (1884-1969) Frances Huxley was a Manchester University educated gynaecologist whose work on postural apnoea in Glasgow earned her the MD with gold medal in 1912. She was respected and a brilliant medical student, however her application for a senior resident post at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester caused…

Pioneers: Margaret Fairlie, FRCOG (1891-1963)

This time (and in time for International Women’s Day), our Pioneers series takes a look at one of the early female Fellows of our College. When the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists was founded in 1929, many practicing female gynaecologists initially hesitated to join. According to Fletcher Shaw’s history of the College, whilst they…

Pioneers: Dr June Scudamore FRCOG (1925-2008)

The weeks leading up to International Women’s Day are the perfect time to launch our newest regular feature: Pioneers, where we highlight innovators from within the fields of obstetrics and gynaecology. We’ll celebrate the lives, careers and achievements of these medical titans, with profiles of 16th century midwives, 20th century Members and Fellows of the…

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…

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…

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 Find for Friday: Some inspirational female Fellows!

Our Fantastic Find for Friday this week comes from the papers of the Women’s Visiting Gynaecological Club held here in the RCOG Archive (Reference S108). More specifically, it is this photograph, taken in Manchester in 1937, which prompted me to share this find with the heritage blog! As is the usual nature of our ‘fantastic…

Fantastic Finds for Friday: International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day tomorrow (8 March), today’s Fantastic Find from the RCOG Archive brings you a letter from 1899 which gives a glimpse into the efforts of one woman to enter the medical profession. The letter is a testimonial written for Harriet Bird by the Austrian gynaecologist and master of hysterectomy, Ernst Wertheim…