Founding of the Royal College of Midwives

Scope and Content

This collection comprises material, relating to the founding of the Royal College of Midwives (formally known as the Midwives Institute), including a register of thoroughly trained and certificated midwives, which could be consulted by the general public in order to obtain recommended care.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Royal College of Midwives was formally founded in 1941, receiving its Royal Charter in 1947, but its history extends back to 1881, when the Matron's Aid, or Trained Midwives Registration Society, was set up by Zepherina Veitch, a midwife among the poor at the British Lying-In Hospital near Endell Street in London, and Louisa Hubbard, the editor of a women's journal called 'Work and Leisure', in a bid to 'raise the efficiency and improve the status of midwives and to petition parliament for their recognition'.


The original order of material is retained, although where this is not possible the arrangement of files has been based on the functions and activities of the organisation as well as chronology, subject and the needs of users.

Conditions Governing Access

Permission is required for external access to records less than twenty years old. Also restrictions apply if material includes personal information of living individuals. All other records are open to research by appointment, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. For further information about accessing the collection and visiting the reading room, please contact:

Acquisition Information

There is no record of the source or date of acquisition before this material was deposited under the terms of a collection care agreement at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in May 2011.


Catalogued by Clare Sexton, Project Archivist in accordance with ISAD(G).

Other Finding Aids

Further details of the contents of this collection are available on request.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright belongs to the Royal College of Midwives. To reproduce this material, please apply via the College Archivist:

Custodial History

This collection was previously held at the Royal College of Midwives.