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Archives and heritage

The RCOG holds significant historical material. Our heritage collections are a unique and important resource that cover the history of women’s healthcare, and of key practitioners of obstetrics and gynaecology.

These include the original notebooks of Robert Barnes, the very first examples of obstetric forceps, created by the Chamberlen family c.1600, and examples of Rosslin’s early 16th century Rosengarten – the first printed book on the subject of midwifery.

Find out more about our library collections.


The College Archives holds a range of information about the RCOG and the specialty of obstetrics and gynaecology.

Find out what the College Archive holds, and read some of the fascinating stories behind the items in our collection

RCOG museum

We maintain a museum of obstetric, midwifery, surgical and gynaecological instruments and artefacts spanning 500 years.

Find out more about the museum, including how to visit

Resources for family historians

If your ancestor was an obstetrician or midwife, information in the RCOG Library and Archives could help you find out more about their life and work.

Read our information for family historians looking to trace an ancestor

Volunteer with RCOG Heritage

We’re always looking for volunteers to assist us in our work.

Find out what’s involved and how to apply

Contact us

To contact the Heritage team, please email .

Elsewhere on the site

About the College

Find out about the RCOG’s current work to improve women’s health care worldwide