Library services

Library services

The RCP library is based in London’s new Knowledge Quarter and is open to everyone. 

Our library acts as the evidence base for RCP guidance. It provides RCP staff, students and members with clinical and professional development materials at their fingertips, while maintaining a repository of RCP publications as a continuous historical record of our activity. The library reading room, located on the top floor of the main building, is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm.

Customer at enquiry desk
Library stacking shelves
Librarian answering enquiries

COVID-19 and library services

Last updated: 3 August 2020

The Library Reading Room and Medical Education Resource Centre spaces remain closed to visitors until further notice. Staff are working to support our users by providing all the services we can remotely due to staff shortages we aim to reply to all requests within 10 working days see our library webpages for more information. We are unable to accommodate research visits until further notice.

Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions about library services or how to access our digital collections:

RCP and COVID-19 preparations

For more on how the RCP is responding to the coronavirus outbreak to protect its members, staff and public, see

Accessing our library collections

20th and 21st century collections 

  • All the books on our open shelves can be viewed in the library reading room.
  • For material labelled as 'on request', the library staff are able to fetch this material for you. Please ask at the library enquiry desk during our opening hours, or contact us in advance of your visit.
  • Material that is labelled with 'two working days notice' does not require an appointment to view, however the library will need at least two working days advance notice to fetch it for you. Please contact us before your visit.

  • Books within the education collection are marked with ‘Medical Education Resource Centre’. This collection is only available to RCP fellows and members or doctors registered on a programme of study with the RCP. 

  • To view items marked as 'by appointment', please contact us with at least three working days’ notice to book an appointment. 

Rare books and special collections

  • All our rare books are accessible to the public. You will need to make a research appointment to see any books published before 1850. Appointments are usually available Monday–Friday 10am–5pm and we ask for at least three days advanced notice.

Loans and copies

Majority of the library books after 1940 can be borrowed from other libraries though our inter-library loans service; please ask your local or institutional library. We also supply copies of journal articles from 1850 onwards. Libraries may email their requests to, quoting their British Library account code and request number.  

For copies of RCP publications that are not available for sale or to be downloaded:

  • RCP members: free
  • non-RCP members: £6

Members may request copies from the post 1850s collection and we can also obtain articles and chapters from other libraries. 

RCP members can also borrow books from majority of the collections that are post 1940. 

Accessing online collections

  • Digitised material is publicly accessible via links in the library catalogue or through the internet archive.
  • Ebooks, ejournals and Medline can be accessed through the computers in the library reading room, RCP members are able to access these resources offsite, more information on  resources available to RCP members can be found on the RCP website.