Central Administrative Records of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Scope and Content

Records relating to the founding, development and administration of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, comprising of minute books, correspondence (including the correspondence and papers of the RCOG Presidents and Officers), ledgers, membership registers and index cards, circulated newsletters, and other papers relating to internal management of the College.

Administrative / Biographical History

The mission of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is to set standards to improve women's health and the clinical practice of obstetrics and gynaecology both in the UK and across the world. One of the principal means of achieving this aim is through the College's provision of education, training, assessment and professional development.

The British College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists was established in 1929, and received its Royal Charter in 1947. Under its Articles of Association, a Council was established to manage the affairs of the College, comprising of a President, Treasurer and Honorary Secretary, together with elected Fellows and Members. The number and composition changed over the years, most notably with the inclusion of two Vice-Presidents, but the function remains the same, namely to elect Fellows and Members, acquire property, appoint and remove examiners, officers, clerks and agents, to nominate trustees, to act for the College and other related activities.

The internal management of the College was initially undertaken by the College Secretary, a position which developed over the years into the role of a Chief Executive, assisted by a Deputy College Secretary, later a Director of Corporate Affairs.


The natural arrangement of files and series is retained where possible, although some series exist which were brought together from different transfers of material in order to facilitate access.

Access Information

Permission is required from College senior management for external access to College records less than twenty years old: all other records are open by appointment, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. Email: archives@rcog.org.uk

Acquisition Information

Internal transfers from the creating College departments, officers and committees.

Other Finding Aids

Details of contents of parts of this collection are available on request. Email: archives@rcog.org.uk

Details of some parts of the collection are available through the AIM25 network: please note that these are not current or updated descriptions and all enquiries should be made to the College Archivist.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Care is required in the handling of all minute books.

Archivist's Note

Record description compiled by Penny Bonning, Archivist, in May 2011.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies are available at the discretion of the College Archivist. Copyright lies with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and permission to reproduce items should be sought via the College Archivist.

Appraisal Information

Duplicate and routine administrative material is removed where applicable by the College Archivist.

Custodial History

This is a composite collection, bringing together all the papers which relate to the internal management and administration of the College. The papers were transferred internally on an ad hoc basis, probably by the College Secretary, prior to the establishment of a more formal transfer process; with the development of a records management scheme for the College, the papers are currently transferred at regular intervals according to separate departmental disposal agreements.


Additions to the administrative papers of the RCOG are expected on a regular basis according to College record-keeping policies.

Related Material

Other material relating to the foundation of the British College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists may be found at the following references:

RCOG/A2/C - Papers relating to elections to Council

RCOG/B3 - Records of the Fellowship Selection Committee

S34 - Papers of Sir William Fletcher Shaw

RCOG/A4/1 - Papers of Professor William Blair-Bell as President

S1 - Personal papers of Professor William Blair-Bell

S10 - Deposited papers of Professor William Blair-Bell

S14 - Personal papers of Professor William Blair-Bell

S33 - Unpublished history of the RCOG by Professor William Blair-Bell

RCOG/HA/H3 - Articles of Association and the College Charter

S97 - Papers of Professor Miles Harris Phillips relating to the foundation and early years of the College


The History of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologistsby Sir William Fletcher Shaw

Personal Names