Royal College of Physicians and its collections: an illustrated history


Edited by Geoffrey Davenport, Professor W Ian McDonald FRCP and Caroline Moss-Gibbons

The Royal College of Physicians of London was founded in 1518 by a charter granted by King Henry VIII. Still playing a leading role in the medical profession today, the College's fundamental aim, remains that of 'promoting the highest standards of medical practice in order to improve health and healthcare.

Written with authority but in an accessible style by Fellows and historians who are experts in specific aspects of RCP history, and drawing on the knowledge acquired by Geoffrey Davenport in nearly thirty years of service in the College Library, the book explains the various means the College has adopted in trying to achieve its aims, its success and setbacks, and the notable personalities involved. As a learned society with a continued existence now of nearly five centuries, it has naturally accumulated bibliographical and artistic treasures of considerable interest. These also are depicted and described.

Richly illustrated in colour, superbly designed and produced, the book will inform and illuminate anyone interested in medicine.


  • Introduction
  • Themes in the history
  • Homes
  • The library
  • The archives
  • Picture and sculpture collection
  • Special objects
  • Personalities

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