Volunteers' Week 2023

Volunteers' Week 2023 (Part one)

Volunteers' Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering in their communities.

Join us in celebrating the work of the volunteers of the RCP archives, heritage library, and museum team.

Digging Deeper into the Unfamiliar

Caitlín Rankin-McCabe, PhD candidate from Durham University, researches a mysterious object in the RCP's current exhibition: Unfamiliar: A new look at the Royal College of Physicians’ collections

Rules for gouty people: eighteenth-century advice

The RCP Heritage Library manages the Heberden Library of the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR), a collection documenting the history of rheumatology from the 16th to 20th centuries. Today on the blog we take a look at a recent addition to the Heberden Library: Thomas Short’s, Discourse on tea, sugar, milk, made-wines, spirits, punch, tobacco (1750) which contains his ‘plain and useful rules for gouty people’.

Katie Birkwood

A building for all seasons: the RCP as a film set


The RCP is housed in a Grade I listed building designed by celebrated architect Sir Denys Lasdun. The striking modernist building with its unexpected historic interiors has been popular with film and television producers since it was opened in 1964. In this blog we revisit some of the sets the RCP has played host to in recent years. Why not come and visit us to see where you favourite scene was filmed?

Lowri Jones

Making Unfamiliar: Theo Deproost interview

Co-curator of exhibition ‘Unfamiliar’, Theo Deproost is a fine-art and commercial photographer whose practice focuses on discovering and re-interpreting the hidden gems of museum stores. We recently chatted with Theo about the experience of co-curating at the RCP: 

Making Unfamiliar - Debbie Jegede interview

Debbie Jegede is a lead physician associate in the emergency department at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, a member of the RCP’s Diversity and Inclusion Delivery Group, and co-curator of our current exhibition ‘Unfamiliar’. We recently chatted with Debbie about the experience of co-curating at the RCP: 

Gail Chapman

‘Evil consequences may well follow’: eugenics and the British medical establishment

After the Second World War, the British Advisory Committee for Medical War Crimes was set up to investigate experiments carried out on prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. The committee’s records are held by the RCP archives. One of the categories into which the Committee divided the war crimes was eugenics, the bigoted ideology of ‘perfecting’ society through state-planned breeding. However, eugenics was not an ideology confined to Nazi Germany. Two members of the war crimes committee, Carlos Paton Blacker (1895-1975) and Aubrey Lewis (1900-1975), were also members of the RCP’s euphemistically named Voluntary Sterilisation Committee. Assistant Archivist, Felix Lancashire, examines eugenic theory and practice among British physicians in the 1930s-50s.


Please be aware that this blog contains distressing content from the outset. 

Felix Lancashire