Our Archive Collection

A unique archive of the history of medicine in Ireland

Since our foundation in 1654, we have been collecting material relating to the history of the College and the history of medicine in Ireland.

Our unique archive contains over 10,000 items relating to the history of medicine in Ireland and includes intriguing items such as minute books, correspondence, photographs, administrative records and papers of physicians and medical organisations.

Between 2010 and 2012 we completed a Wellcome Trust funded project to electronically catalogue our archive, with a further Wellcome Trust grant in 2014 to catalogue the newly acquired papers of the Cork Street Fever Hospital in Dublin. 

Our online archive catalogue contains all details of our collections, and is regularly updated as we receive new donation to the collections.

What’s in our archive?

Our archive contains material from two main sources:

  • The records of RCPI from 1667 to the present, including minute books, correspondence, administrative records and College registers
  • Records created by others and donated to us for safe-keeping. These include archives created by Irish physicians, hospitals, medical and professional organisations. As well as the research papers of Irish medical historians, and papers relating to the social history of medicine and medical businesses.

Visit Us

To make an appointment to view any items from our archive simply contact us by email to heritagecenter@rcpi.ie or by phone on 01 6698817.

Our reading room is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 4pm, by appointment.

How to search our archive

There are two ways to search our archive. 

  1. Our online archive catalogue allows you to search all the records in our archive.
  2. You can download PDF catalogues for each of the collections in our archive from the list below.

The information in the online and PDF catalogues is exactly the same, we just provide two formats to allow you to use whichever format suits you best.

Archive collection lists


The are 31 special collections in the archive, containing the papers of hospital, medical organisations, physicians and medical historians. All the collection lists are available for download.

Apothecaries' Hall of Ireland Archive

Papers of the Apothecaries' Hall of Ireland and the Guild of Apothecaries of St. Luke. Collection contains minute books and papers relating to the examinations held by the Hall for apothecaries and medical practitioners, as well as a small collection of financial and administrative papers. The collection also contains papers of the Apothecaries Benevolent Fund for Ireland.

British Medical Association, Dublin Branch Archive

Papers of the Dublin Branch of the British Medical Association from its foundation in 1877. The collection includes administrative, financial and membership papers, also material relating to the 1933 visit of the British Medical Association to Dublin and the 1952 Doctors’ hobbies exhibition.

Colebrook Wright Papers

Papers of Leonard Colebrook (1883-1967) and Sir Almroth Wright (1861-1947), including Wright's writing on women, correspondence, and papers relating to the biographies of both men.

Conolly Norman Lecture Notes

Typescript accounts of three series of lectures delivered by Conolly Norman to students at the Richmond Asylum on mental disorders and the treatment of the mentally ill.

Cork Street Fever Hospital and Cherry Orchard Hospital Archive

The papers of Cork Street Fever Hospital and Cherry Orchard Hospital covering the period 1801 to 2005. The collection includes administrative papers, some patient records, architectural plans, the papers of some of the hospitals' medical superintendents and ephemera relating to the history of the hospitals.

Cow-Pock Institution Archive

A small collection of the papers of the Cow-Pock Institution, established to provide vaccination services in Ireland. The papers cover the period 1804 to 1885

Dublin Biological Club Archive

Papers of the Dublin Biological Club founded in 1872. The collection includes minute books, attendance books, members roll and a collection of glass lantern slides of early club members.

Dublin Clinical Hospitals Standing Committee Archive

Papers of the Dublin Clinical Hospitals Standing Committee collected by their long serving secretary Richard Atkinson Hayes. Papers cover the period 1877 to 1932 and focus on the training of medical students in Dublin hospitals.

Dublin Sanitary Association Archive

Small collection of papers created by the Dublin Sanitary Association, covering the period 1883-1912. The collection includes minute books, a letter book and newspaper cuttings.

Edmond Joseph Theophilus McWeeney Papers

Papers of Edmond Joseph Theophilus (Theo) McWeeney, relating to his medical education and career as a Tuberculosis specialist at the Irish Department of Health and the World Health Organisation. Papers also include autobiographical and other articles and lectures written by McWeeney.

Edward Hill Papers

Papers of Edward Hill (1741-1830) including letters, invitation cards, notebooks and documents relating to the School of Physic Act (1800), also three sketches of Hill.

Eoin O'Brien Research Papers

Papers and correspondence of Eoin O’Brien relating to his research and publications on Sir Dominic Corrigan.

John Fleetwood Papers

Papers of Dr John Fleetwood (1917-2007) covering his career as a GP, palliative care physician and gerontologist. Also his research and published papers on the history of medicine, as well as other papers relating to his literary and radio works.

Kathleen Lynn Diaries

The personal diaries of Kathleen Lynn, doctor and activist, 1916-1955

Living Medical History Project

Transcripts of oral history interviews carried out from the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland’s Living Medical History Project.

Macnamara Family Papers

Papers relating to the Macnamara family of Corofin, Country Clare, who provided four generations of dispensary doctors and general practitioners to their local community.

Major-General Francis Joseph O'Meara Papers

Papers of Francis Joseph O'Meara (1900-1967), mainly covering his time in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the Second World War. There are also a small number of personal and family papers, and some family photographs.

Medical Illustrations

A collection of nineteenth century medical illustrations and photographs mainly showing cases of skin diseases, but also including some other conditions and surgical illustrations.

Medico-Philosophical Society Archive

Memoirs, or minutes, of the Medico-Philosophical Society from its foundation in 1754 to 1784. Also the minute book and members’ album dating from the re-formation of the Society in 1854.

National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis, Dublin Branch Archive

Small collection of papers created by the Dublin Branch of the National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis, 1899 -1909

Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Archive

Papers of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, mainly the minute books of the general council and the various academy sections. The collection also includes printed reports and papers, as well as papers relating to academy membership and some memorabilia.

Royal National Hospital for Consumption for Ireland Archive

Papers relating to the Royal National Hospital for Consumption for Ireland (1896-1963) at Newcastle, County Wicklow. Collection contains the administrative and financial papers of the hospital, a complete set of patient registers, newspaper cuttings relating to the history of the hospital and tuberculosis, and some architectural plans and papers.

Russell Public Health Ephemera

Ephemeral items, collected by Drs Matthew and Angela Russell, mainly relating to public health in Dublin from the 1890s to the 1950s.

Saint Ultan's Hospital Archive

The administrative papers of Saint Ultan’s Hospital, Dublin, 1919-1984. With a small collection of photographs, ephemera and objects.

Sir Andrew John Horne Papers

Papers of Sir Andrew John Horne (1856-1924) mainly relating to his time as President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (1908-1910), his membership of The Phagocytes and his receipt of a knighthood in 1913.

Sir Dominic Corrigan Papers

The professional papers of Sir Dominic Corrigan, including case books, diaries and correspondence. With a small collection of personal papers and papers relating to the Corrigan family, 1795-[1940s].

Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital Archive

The administrative and financial papers, patient records, architectural plans and photographic collections of Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital, 1800-1986

Surgeon-General Charles Sibthorpe Papers

Case books and other documents of Surgeon-General Charles Sibthorpe (1847-1906) from his time in the Indian Medical Service.

Thomas Fitzpatrick Public Health Cartoons

Cartoons, by Thomas Fitzpatrick, relating to public health concerns in Dublin and/or Sir Charles Cameron.

Thomas Percy Claude Kirkpatrick Archive

Papers of Dr Kirkpatrick (1869-1954) covering his medical career and research into the history of medicine. As well as personal papers, correspondence and a small collection of papers relating to his father Dr John Rutherford Kirkpatrick (c.1832-1889). With Dr Kirkpatirck’s personal collection of manuscripts relating to the history of medicine in Ireland.

Westmoreland Lock Hospital Archive

Papers of the Westmoreland Lock Hospital from its foundation in 1792 to the early twentieth century. Collection contains administrative, financial and patient records, as well as some records of the chaplaincy.

As well as the collections listed above we also have many individual archive items, details of which can be found in the following three lists

Manuscript Series

This list contains details of individual unbound archive items.

Bound Manuscript Series

This list contains details of individual bound archive items.

Visual Material

Collection of visual material, including photographs, prints, glass lantern slides, glass plate negative and stereographs. Subjects include Irish medics, Irish medical subject, notable figures in the history of medicine international, and buildings or locations with a medical connection.

The biggest collection in the archives are the papers of the Royal College of Physicians itself. Due to the size of the collection the list has been broken down into five parts.

RCPI Archive Part I

Papers relating to the governing statutes, administration, correspondence and financial transactions of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland from its foundation in 1667.

RCPI Archive Part II

Papers relating to the management of the estates in county Waterford left to the College in trust by Sir Patrick Dun, also papers relating to Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital and the King’s Professorships which were financed by the trust.

RCPI Archive Part III

Papers relating to the membership of the College including Licentiates, Members, Fellows, Officers and Honorary Fellows, also the records of the Association of Members, later the Medical Society of the College, and the Institute and Faculties.

RCPI Archive Part IV

Papers relating to the College’s Heritage Centre, made up of the Dun’s Library, Archive, Heritage Items and Museum, also papers relating to the history of the College and the College’s home at Number Six Kildare Street.

RCPI Archive Part V

Papers relating to the Conjoint Examinations Board Ireland run by the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons. Papers relating to the relationship between the College of Physicians and the Apothecaries, especially through their representative body the Apothecaries Hall. Papers relating to the publication of the Dublin Pharmacopaeia. Papers relating to the College’s opinion on various pieces of legislation and papers relating to the management of medical education and registration. Papers relating to events run by the College, College history and ephemera. Papers relating to the College’s role in providing higher medical training.

Harriet Wheelock

Keeper of Collections

Tel: +353 1 669 8817

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.