We hold a significant collection of medical instruments dating from the 18th century onwards, showing the development of medical technology over time. We also hold a collection of material medica samples, some of which were used by the College to train apothecaries and doctors.
In 2019 we accepted, on loan, a large collection of instruments from the former Reads Cutlers and Instrument Makers shop. Based on Parliament Street in Dublin, they were one of the leading makers and retailers of medical instruments in Ireland for over two centuries.
Our collections of portraits, busts and statues represent some of the most notable figures in Irish medicine, including many past Presidents of the College.
We also collect artworks representing the medical profession and its role in society more generally.
We look after the College’s collection of silverware, most notably our mace, designed by Sir Frederic William Burton and made from Irish silver by West & Co in 1860. The collection also includes items given to the College to mark special occasions and the Presidential chair given to us in 1865.
We hold many items of historical interest relating to our members and medicine more widely. These include the suit worn by College President Andrew Horne when he received a knighthood and a table from Dun’s Hospital carved with the names of generations of medical students. Other historical curiosities include a tray carved by Countess Markievicz and, most famously of all, Napoleon’s toothbrush.
Harriet is Keeper of Collection and manages the RCPI Heritage Centre. Contact Harriet with any questions about the Heritage Centre, its collection and to make an appointment to visit.