The Collections are Moving House

The collections of the Royal College of Midwives are cared for by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and have been since 2012. The collections compliment each other perfectly and will continue to do so, but, as of later this year, from a new location. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have been…

Zepherina Smith – International Women’s Day 2019

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2019 this post brings you a short biography of Zepherina Smith (1836-1894), the inspirational woman who became the first president of the Royal College of Midwives. Zepherina Philadelphia Veitch was born in 1836 and was the daughter of  a clergyman. As a young woman she trained as a nurse…

Christmas in the Archives

Christmas in the Archives at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives   As a way to demonstrate the variety of material we have in the Archive and to have a bit of fun in the festive season we searched the collections to see what we have relating to…

The Royal Maternity Charity and the First World War

The Royal Maternity Charity and the First World War On the Anniversary of the end of the First World War it seemed pertinent to look at the collections in relation to this. It might not seem an obvious connection, midwifery and the First World War, but we cannot forget that this was something which affected…

New collections: the life of Miriam Hiddy

Nurse and Midwife: Miriam Hiddy A couple of months ago a personal collection was sent to us in the post. It was sent through by a charity. A past chairman of this charity had recently passed away and his relatives were sorting through his papers. Amongst his own papers this collection was discovered. It appears…

A 19th Century Man-Midwife

A 19th Century Man-Midwife   A couple of months ago we acquired a wonderful donation in the form of two books written by Dr Philip Lawrence Hill in the 1800s. One, written in 1824 appears to be a completely hand-transcribed copy of a medical book. The other is a case register of a doctor and…

International Day of the Midwife

International Day of the Midwife The International Day of the Midwife is celebrated annually on the 5th May. It is now in its 27th year, having begun in 1992. The theme for this year is: Midwives leading the way with quality care In celebration of this it seemed a good opportunity to share a few photographs…

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

The 27th of October is the UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Hertiage, where archives, libraries, museums and other collecting institutions around the world celebrate the special qualities of the sound and moving image collections they hold. “Through images and sound, audiovisual heritage provides unique insight to the past as the basis for looking to the…

Changes to Library Opening Hours

From Monday 18th September, the Reading Room of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists will be changing to 10am to 4pm Monday-Friday, excluding English bank holidays and College closure days. Researchers wishing to access Royal College of Midwives or RCOG archive, museum and library collections outside these hours should email the Library and Heritage…

The Very First Issue of Nursing Notes: a Practical Journal for Nurses, 1888

We’re celebrating International Day of the Midwife 2017 by making available, for free download, the first issue of the very first volume of Nursing Notes, which became the official journal of the Midwives Institute (later the Royal College of Midwives). A searchable, scanned copy of this historic issue is free to download as a PDF:…

Fantastic Finds: A Mystery Midwifery Certificate from the 18th Century

You never know what you might find delving through a backlog of museum accessions. But that’s what makes it fun. Earlier this month, our Museum Curator for the Royal College of Midwives Heritage Team uncovered a beautiful (if somewhat battered) 18th century midwifery certificate awarded to a Mary Burford of the City of London Lying-in…

Word of the Month: Bossi Dilator

Our Word of the Month for April is Bossi’s Dilator. One glance is all you need to tell that a Bossi Dilator is a pretty grim looking instrument. Dating back to late 19th century, the Bossi dilator was used to open the cervix during examinations and childbirth.  This model was designed by L.M. Bossi, professor…