The RSM organises a number of exhibitions each year which are open to the public and take place in the Library.

current exhibition:

This little pamphlet: An exhibition at the Library of the Royal Society of Medicine to mark the bicentenary of James Parkinson’s Essay on the Shaking Palsy.


Monday 6th November 2017 until Saturday 27th January 2018


This Little Pamphlet

“The reader will now perceive, that this little pamphlet is highly worthy of perusal, and deserves the attention of the medical public.”

The Medico-Chirurgical Journal and Review 1817; 4: 401-408.

 The physician and geologist James Parkinson (1755 – 1824) was a Fellow of the Medical & Chirurgical Society, the forerunner Society to the Royal Society of Medicine. His signature appears in the obligation book of the MCS. The minutes of the Medical & Chirurgical Society meeting held on November 25th, 1817 records James Parkinson’s donation to the Society of a copy of his Essay on the Shaking Palsy. The 1817 volume of the Medico-Chirurgical Transactions also records this fact, and it is listed in the 1844 printed catalogue of the Library of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London.

In his book on Parkinson, Christopher Gardner-Thorpe lists the RSM Library as holding one of the six copies said still to be in existence. We do, in fact, hold two copies. It is not known whether one of them is the copy donated by Parkinson. The copies displayed in this exhibition were entered in the RSM Library accessions register on 25th January 1929, and were described as “purchased” although with no indication as to where or from whom.

 This exhibition affords a chance to display these very rare items alongside works referred to in the Essay by Parkinson as well as early citations and reviews of this little, ground-breaking, pamphlet.


Admission free. Open to all.


Exhibition opening hours

Monday - Thursday 9am - 9pm
Friday 9am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10am - 4.30pm

Entrance to the exhibitions is free.


past exhibitions general

Past exhibitions

Take a look at past exhibitions held at the RSM Library.


feature of month general

Feature of the month

Each month, the RSM Library archives feature a particular highlight from the current exhibition, giving a fascinating insight into the history of the piece. 



contact us

The Royal Society of Medicine
1 Wimpole Street, London W1G 0AE
T: +44 (0) 20 7290 2940 / 2941

library@rsm.ac.uk arrow

library opening hours

Monday - Thursday



24hr service
The library 1st floor and IT suite are available 24hrs a day.

Call the library:
+44 (0)20 7290 2940 / 2941

library@rsm.ac.uk arrow