RCOG records relating to the foundation and development of 'Birthright'

Scope and Content

Records of the RCOG relating to the foundation and development of 'Birthright' (later 'Wellbeing'), comprising the Presidents' collection of correspondence and papers as President of Birthright, the Honorary Treasurers' papers, agenda and minutes of meetings, accounts and publicity material.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1964, obstetrician Professor Will Nixon set up the 'Childbirth Research Centre', after witnessing the grief of a young man whose wife had died during childbirth. Professor Nixon was director of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at University College Hospital, London for over twenty years. Leading members of the medical profession including Lord Brain, Sir John Peel, Professor Dugald Baird and Sir George Pinker founded CRC as a registered charity in October 1964. They were very disturbed by the lack of scientific and medical research into the causes and prevention of abnormalities in pregnancy, childbirth and infancy.

In 1972, the name was changed to “Birthright” – The National Fund for Childbirth Research” in order to reflect the national activities of the charity both in terms of fundraising and research. In April 1975 Birthright agreed to work with The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to improve women’s health. Birthright worked in partnership with the RCOG as a fundraising and research organisation to promote research in obstetrics and gynaecology and related subjects, particularly research into the prevention of birth defects.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to research

Custodial History

These records were removed from the papers of College Presidents and grouped because of their subject matter, prior to transfer to the Archives.

Related Material

Related material held at the RCOG may be found at the following reference:

RCOG/H8 Wellbeing's financial and legal records, 1976-1986

RCOG/C8 Records relating to the National Birthday Trust Fund, of which Wellbeing is the corporate Trustee, 1967-1984

RCOG/A6/3/4 Honorary Treasurer's file on Birthright, 1987-1990

RCOG/A4/15/34 College Presidents' papers on Birthright/Wellbeing, 1974-1993

RCOG/M50/3/10 Paper presented to the RCOG's futures working party on 'Birthright's' relations with the College, 1990