Print and photography

Print and photography

Our 6000 works of art on paper have been collected throughout the 500 years of the RCP history, often from donations by its members and fellows.

Photographs and engraved prints showing portraits of historic physicians make up the bulk of the collection, depicting significant medical and scientific individuals from across the history of medicine. Well-known figures featured include people such as Galen (c.130-200 AD), Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), Isaac Newton (1642-1727), William Hunter (1718-1783), Matthew Baillie (1761-1823), Humphry Davy (1778-1829) and Edward Jenner (1749-1823). 

Avicenna c.979–1037, engraving by Georg Paul Busch
Photograph of John Snow
Portrait of John Snow (1813 - 1858) who was M.D., L.R.C.P. and a leader in the adoption of anaesthesia and medical hygiene.

The collection also includes caricatures, anatomical drawings, botanical paintings, and architectural prints of previous RCP homes and other medical institutions. Covering a huge range of topics relating to medicine and physicians right up to the present day, our thematic collections cover areas from anatomy to public health, architecture to vaccination.

The archive collection also cares for a large number of prints and photographs particularly focussing on images and architectural plans of the RCP buildings, including Sir Denys Lasdun’s original designs for the RCP’s grade 1 listed building in 11 St Andrews Place.

Anatomy theatre print
Print of the anatomy theatre at the University of Leiden, by Willem van Swanenburg after Jan Cornelisz

Works on paper feature in the museum’s displays and exhibitions, and are often exhibited to complement our public events programme. Items not on display are available to view via a research appointment.


To uncover a wealth of information about the collections held at the RCP, search our  archive and museum catalogue. If you would like to view a collection item in person you can book a research appointment.

Halloween skeleton frame

Download a skeleton frame from our prints collection to colour in or frame your own spooky photos this Halloween!