Royal Society of Medicine archives

The Royal Society of Medicine houses an extraordinary archive collection that offers a fascinating insight into the history and evolution of the medical profession, and tells stories about the lives of members and employees of the Society from the last 200 years.

Since 1805, the RSM has kept a varied selection of records, from documents about 19th-century medical societies which joined to become the RSM, to modern-day records which illustrate its current work. The material includes manuscripts, books, photographs, maps and plans, sound, moving images and digital records. 

The RSM also holds the Diamond Collection, a unique collection of 22 photographs of psychiatric patients.  The collection features prints, photographs, engravings, drawings and cartoons of portraits of medical figures throughout history.

The RSM archive is a unique research resource and the collection is open to members and external researchers to use. For research enquiries or to make an appointment to view material, please contact the RSM Library.

We also welcome donations of archive material from amalgamating societies or individuals who have made a significant contribution to the work of the Society.

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Archive summary

Get a summary of all records held by the RSM archive, including records from predecessor societies and sub-committees. 


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Section archives

The RSM holds correspondence from each of the Sections, including council and meeting minutes, programmes and related papers.


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Fora archives

See full listings of all records held in the Fora archives.


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Archive resources

Download the online resource ‘Unlocking the Medicine Chest’, produced to help academic researchers and students use medical collections for thesis research on the study of the history of medicine.