The Royal Society of Medicine is home to one of the largest medical libraries in Europe. Its impressive collection dates from to 15th century and includes over half a million volumes, as well as portraits, photographs manuscripts and an extraordinary archive collection.

The Friends of the Library scheme makes an important contribution to the Library’s conservation programme, which ensures the preservation of our historic collection.

As a Friend, you will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Bi-annual Friends of the Library ebulletin, with news about the Library’s exhibitions, events conservation activities, digitisation plans and fundraising efforts.

  • Behind-the-scenes tours of the Library and its collections including the archive room, rare books store, portrait and sculpture exhibits and the conservation studio.

  • First-look and invitation to private viewings of our exhibitions and accompanying talks. We run at least 4 exhibitions a year, showcasing items from our extensive heritage collections. View these at our First-look events prior to the exhibition opening. 

  • Exclusive opportunities to view rare books, archives and exhibits not normally on display to the public. These include parts of our manuscript collection, letters by leading figures such as Charles Darwin, Edward Jenner and Sigmund Freud, the Diamond Collection – a unique collection of 22 photographs of psychiatric patients by early British psychiatrist and photographer, Hugh Welch Diamond.  

  • Set of free botanical postcards, images from the beautiful ‘A Curious Herbal’ volumes by Elizabeth Blackwell 1737-39.