Records of the RCOG Senior Vice President and Overseas Officer, and of the International Office

Scope and Content

Records of the RCOG Senior Vice President, including his role as Overseas Officer, and of the College International Office, comprising correspondence with the overseas Representative and Reference Committees (1955-2007), correspondence files retained in the alphabetical sequence maintained by the Vice President's office relating to all aspects of his role as Overseas Officer (1970-2007), collaborative agreements made with other medical and professional bodies for international projects (2008-2010), reports of external examiners from the College overseeing Part 1 MRCOG examinations overseas (1993-2008), papers relating to international projects in particular relating to maternal care in developing countries (1988-2010), and correspondence files of individual Senior Vice Presidents, again relating to all aspects of their role overseas and in the College (1992-2000). Interesting parts of this collection worthy of note are those relating to the development of the College's international role, its relationship with Fellows and Members overseas (including difficulties arising from political situations), and its collaboration with other professional bodies to improve maternal health care in developing countries.

Administrative / Biographical History

Under the By-laws of the College drawn up in 1929, two Vice Presidents were to be chosen from among the Fellows of the College. The Senior Vice President or in his absence, the Junior Vice President, was to deputise for the President in the case of the latter's inability or unwillingness to undertake his duties. The Senior Vice President was to be the Vice President who had held office for a longer period.

In the early 1980s, the Vice President assumed primary responsibility for overseas affairs; a duty previously performed by the College Secretary. The College adopted a new international strategy and committee structure in 2005. An International Executive Board and International Advisory Group were to co-ordinate and promote RCOG strategy on the improvement of reproductive healthcare and the reduction of maternal mortality worldwide. To support the Vice President for International Affairs in this work, an International Office was established within the Administation Department of the College. By 2008, three Vice-Presidents were elected: the Senior Vice President taking responsibility for international affairs, and the two Vice-Presidents responsible for standards and education respectively.


The correspondence was originally divided into two series, based on an existing index held in the Vice-President's office: i) The first section comprises the Overseas Officers' correspondence with overseas committees of the RCOG, arranged alphabetically by country; two files were raised for each country, a reference and/or representative committee file and a general information file. ii) The second section consists of general correspondence, alphabetically arranged. Correspondence concerning overseas committees generally will be found in this class, as will one or two files on representative or reference committees not included in section i) e.g. correspondence with Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand will be found under 'A', 'H' and 'N' respectively. Where the file has not yet been added to the list, the file number has been allocated in square brackets.

Subsequent transfers of material from the Vice Presidents Office and the International Office have been allocated separate sub-sub-fonds more suited to the nature of the material.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Internal transfers from the RCOG Administration Department.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is held by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and photocopying is available at the discretion of the College Archivist.

Appraisal Information

The majority of files have been extensively weeded to remove duplicates and ephemera.

Custodial History

Records in this series have been produced by the office of the Vice President/International Office and transferred to the Archives by the Administration Department. The records were transferred in batches to the Archives over a period of years, appraised by the College Archivist ten years after transfer and disposed of in accordance with Disposal Agreement No 8 between the Archivist and the Vice-President's secretary.

Related Material

Other related material held by the RCOG include the following references:

RCOG/A4/20-21 Records relating to overseas affairs found in the papers of College presidents including specific reference to overseas affairs, 1969-1999

RCOG/A4/17 Records of overseas councils and conferences

RCOG/B17 Records of the RCOG European Committee

RCOG/D1 Records relating to the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)

RCOG/D6 Records relating to the College's participation in meetings of the Union Professionnelle Internationale des Gynecologues et Obstetriciens (UPIGO)

RCOG/B38 Records of the International Executive Board

RCOG/B9 Records relating to the College's overseas committees and councils prior to the involvement of the Overseas Officer, including copies of the committees' own records