Legal and Constitutional Records of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Scope and Content

Legal, constitutional and other vital records of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, including seal books, charters, financial and insurance documents, correspondence with the College solicitor, Hempsons, papers relating to the will of Professor William Blair-Bell, co-founder of the College, trust deeds, deeds, partnership agreements, and papers relating to the College pension scheme.

This collection consists of the following:

RCOG/HA - Articles of Association and Charter Management, 1927-2010

RCOG/HRF - Records of restricted funds, 1932-2010

RCOG/HT - Records relating to taxation and finances, 1932-2003

RCOG/HL - Legal records and papers relating to legal services, 1929-2010

RCOG/HAA - Annual accounts, 1931-2002

RCOG/HI - Insurance records, 1998-2005

RCOG/HPA - Records of agreements made by the RCOG, 2006-2010

RCOG/HINV - Records of investments, 1969-2000

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 Certificate of Incorporation of the British College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as a limited company and the first Memorandum and Articles of Association were approved on 13 September 1929. The first Royal Charter was granted in 1947, with a supplemental Charter in 1948. Further amendments were made to the Charter, Articles of Association, Ordinances and By-laws between 1963 and 2010.


The natural arrangement of files and series is retained where possible, although some composite 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 legal records are open at the discretion of the College Archivist by appointment, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. Email:

Acquisition Information

Internal transfers from across the College departments, most probably from the College Secretary's Office, with others from the President's Office and the Finance Department.

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.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Care is required in the handling of all volumes.

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 material should be sought via the College Archivist.

Appraisal Information

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

Custodial History

Early legal and constitutional records were originally removed from their administrative context and placed in a green safe in the College basement for security reasons. They were given the artificial classification 'GS'. In 2000, the College Secretary and Archivist agreed that the records would be physically safer, and equally secure, in the archives repository. At this time it was impossible to determine the provenance of such a large quantity of material, and the records were catalogued as part of a collection of constitutional and legal records, artificially brought together from across different departments of the College.

This collection was subject to rearrangement in November 2010: records of a similar nature were brought together in series, and these series were titled according to the new business classification scheme being introduced into the College. It is hoped that this composite arrangement will facilitate access and understanding of this records series.


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