Photographic material of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Scope and Content

Photograph collection of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists depicting the membership and social history of the College, and including presidential portraits and photographs of Fellows and Members, prominent obstetricians and gynaecologists, visitors to the College, meetings, and study groups, and together with College buildings and donated material relating to clinical disorders and specimens.

This collection consists of the following:

RCOG/PH1 - Portraits of Presidents and Fellows of the College, 1920-1998

RCOG/PH2 - Photographs of the College Annual Dinner, 1931-1998

RCOG/PH3 - Photographs of College admission ceremonies, 1931-2005

RCOG/PH4 - Photographs of College buildings, 1930-2000

RCOG/PH5 - Photographs of royal visits to the College, including Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Gloucester, and Princess Anne, 1931-2001

RCOG/PH6 - Photographs of College Council and officers, 1934-2001

RCOG/PH7 - Photographs of meetings, members and artefacts of the Gynaecological Visiting Society, 1930-1970

RCOG/PH8 - Photographs from the British Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 1933-2001

RCOG/PH9 - Photographs relating to the College and the specialty overseas, including overseas groups, 1935-2003

RCOG/PH10 - Photographs of College study groups and educational courses, 1979-2005

RCOG/PH12 - Photographs of College presentations, awards and lectures, 1949-1995

RCOG/PH14 - Photographs of College ceremonial artefacts and gifts, 1931-1992

RCOG/PH15 - Photograph albums and photographs of College staff and events, 1929-2003

RCOG/PH17 - Pathological photographs from the College Museum, 1950s-1978

RCOG/PH19 - Photographs of eminent medics, including Cuthbert Lockyer, Henry Simson, Charles Miller, Alban Doran, and Joseph Lister, 1920s-1930

RCOG/PH25 - Photographs used to illustrate 'On the Shoulders of Giants: Eponyms and Names in Obstetrics and Gynaecology' by Thomas F Baskett, 1996-1998

RCOG/PH26 - Photographs relating to College publications, 1994-2003

RCOG/PH27 - Photographs from the office of the RCOG College Secretary, including the College President and Officers, admission ceremonies, and the first IVF baby, Louise Brown, 2000-2002

RCOG/PH28 - Photographs used in RCOG Press publications, 1995-2002

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 categorisation of the College photographs and other pictures was first undertaken around 1988, and there is a copy of the list then produced at RCOG/A10/10. It has been considerably modified since then to better reflect the subject matter of the items.

Access Information

Unrestricted access to the photograph collection, which is open by appointment, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. Email:

Acquisition Information

Internal transfers from departments of the Royal College of Obstetricans and Gynaecologists.

Other Finding Aids

Details of contents of parts of the collection are available on request. Email

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.

Archivist's Note

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

Conditions Governing Use

Information regarding copyright is available via the College Archivist; reproductions are available on request and reproduction is subject to permission from the copyright holder.

Custodial History

It has not always been possible to reconstruct the custodial history from surviving documentation, but it appears that the bulk of the photographic material was deposited in the Archives at some stage either by the creating departments or following donation of particular items to the College. Further material has been added by removal of individual photographs from the College file in which they were contained following transfer of the file to the Archives. This has been done to safeguard the photographs by providing proper storage facilities and in each case has been documented.


Additions to this collection are expected on a regular basis according to College record-keeping policies.