Heritage Collections of the Royal College of Midwives

The Royal College of Midwives has an extensive history covering the development of midwifery as a profession and the work of midwives in the UK and abroad.

The Library:

The Royal College of Midwives has a prestigious collection of over 15,000 books, 600 journals, extensive archives and numerous artefacts relating to the current practice and history of midwifery. These collections are held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). The combined collections bring together material from the broad spread of women’s health providing an unparalleled resource for research and education.

The collections include information on all aspects of clinical obstetrics, gynaecology and midwifery as well as education, the history of the two colleges and the development of women’s health.

The RCM’s heritage collection is held at the RCOG, and is accessible to RCM members and staff as well as external researchers.

The RCOG and RCM library catalogue can be accessed here

More information on RCM Library holdings of the Royal College of Midwives website

The Archive:

The historic records and archives of the Royal College of Midwives are unique collection of administrative records, photographs and audio-visual material dating from the founding of the RCM in 1881 as the Midwives Institute, and includes committee minutes and reports, correspondence and papers of the college president, general secretary and honorary treasurer, scrapbooks, photographs and printed material.

Our Archive also provides a much needed home for the case books, registers, lecture notes, diaries, photographs and other personal collections of retired and deceased midwives. These archives are held within our Special Collections and offer a personal look at the work and personal lives of midwives from all corners of the UK.

More information on the Archive Collections can be found on the RCOG website.

The Archive Catalogue is searchable via the Archives Hub.

The Museum

The Museum Collections of the Royal College of Midwives features artefacts such as uniforms, midwifery instruments, midwives’ bags, and badges. The museum collection, along with the RCOG’s own museum, offers incredible insight into the art of midwifery, midwives’ campaign for registration and recognition, the training and education of midwives, women’s health, and developments in childbirth, pregnancy, contraception and abortion.

More information on the RCOG Museum Exhibit can be found on the RCOG website.