Records of the RCOG Council

Scope and Content

Records of the Council of the British (later Royal) College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists including agenda, circulated papers, and minutes of Council meetings (1963-2009), bound and indexed Council minute books (1929-2008), and papers and correspondence of College founders, William Blair-Bell and William Fletcher Shaw relating to the formation of Council (1925-1929) and of the College Honorary Secretary (1945-1959), together with Council attendance books (1929-2005), records of sub-committees and working parties on the constitution of Council (1973-1985), papers relating to Council elections (1973-1985), and working papers (1971-1980). A sample of the Council papers held by President, Sir Anthony Alment for 1978-1980 are also included in these records.

Administrative / Biographical History

The RCOG Council was established by the Articles of Association of the British College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to manage the affairs of the College. The first Council meeting was held on September 25 1929; the full Council comprised of the President, Treasurer and Honorary Secretary of the College, plus 18 Fellows and Members. Council's specific duties as set out in the 1927 Articles of Association were to be as follows: to elect Fellows and Members, to acquire property, to appoint and remove examiners, officers, clerks and agents, to nominate trustees, to give security by way of indemnity, to delegate power to committees, to make and repeal byelaws, to borrow money, to pay expenses, to act for the College, and to publish literature.

College Council has continued to govern the College in a similar fashion, although over the years its composition has altered. In 2007 it consisted of thirty members elected on a geographical basis from the United Kingdom and Ireland (19 Fellows and 11 Members) and one co-opted member. Co-opted members were usually chairmen of College standing committees. Representatives from related organisations such as the Royal College of Midwives and the Faculty of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, also attended by invitation. By this date Council was meeting six times a year on Saturdays and frequently on the Friday before as business demanded.



Access Information

Permission from RCOG Senior Management is required for external access to College records less than twenty years old.

Other Finding Aids

Some of the original index pages to the Council minutes books have been listed; these lists are available through the College Archivist.

Alternative Form Available

Microfilm copies of précis of Council minutes for 1935-1948 and 1949-1952 are at RCOG/MR/6 and RCOG/MR/10 respectively.

The minute books for 1929-1977 have been microfilmed and the films are referenced as RCOG/MR/27-30 (1929-1968) and RCOG/MR/35-36 (1968-1977)

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Some of the older minute books require careful handling.

Conditions Governing Use

Records are copyright of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and reproductions are available at the discretion of the College Archivist.

Custodial History

The majority of records have been transferred from the College Secretary's Office which acts as secretariat to the Council.


Routine accruals are expected.

Related Material

Related material available at the RCOG:

RCOG/A4/A - Circulated copies of précis of Council minutes, 1935-1952

RCOG/A4 - President's papers relating to Council elections and membership

S34/98-100 - William Fletcher Shaw's papers relating to Council meetings, 1930-1933

RCOG/M50/3/8 - Paper on method of election to Council, presented to the College's futures working party, 1990

RCOG/PH6 - Photographs of RCOG Council