RCPI Heritage Centre receives full museum accreditation

A significant achievement for the RCPI Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland has received Full Accreditation in the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland at a special ceremony hosted by the Heritage Council in Kilkenny Castle today.

This is significant achievement for the Heritage Centre, especially as it is relatively new. The Heritage Centre was only established in 2010 to bring together the College’ large and unique archive, library and object collections. Since its creation the Heritage Centre has become the leading centre for research into the history of medicine in Ireland, as well as promoting public engagement thought open day, lectures and events.  

Harriet Wheelock, Keeper of Collections at RCPI said that it was an honour to accept the award,

Harriet said, “I’m delighted the Heritage Centre has achieved Full Museum Accreditation. It’s a great reflection of the value the College has for its heritage and the support for the Heritage Centre. I’d like to thank Dr Paul Darragh, Dun’s Librarian, Prof Mary Horgan, RCPI President and all the members of the RCPI Library and Heritage Committee for their help and support during the application.”

"We look forward to seeing more visitors to the Centre in the coming months and years, especially during Heritage Week next month," she said.

Dr Paul Darragh, Dun's Librarian at the Heritage Centre said the award was significantly earlier than usual,

"The process usually takes longer and its early completion is a reflection on the dedication adn commitment of Harriet Wheelock, our Keeper of Collections."

"The Library Committee at the Heritage Centre is most grateful to Harriet and also the President, Professor Mary Horgan, Executive and Council of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. 

"Having this valuable award puts us in prime position when future donations are being considered. New donations are the essential life blood of an organisation such as the RCPI," he said.



New exhibition charts the evolution of women's healthcare over the past 350 years


The Centre’s latest exhibition From Man-Midwife to Female Master. 350 years of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Ireland, charts the evolution of  women's healthcare though medical instruments, photography, training materials and many other items. It will be open for viewing from late July and coincides with the 50th Anniversary year of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Chair of the Institute, Dr Peter Boylan viewing the exhibition with Keeper of Collections, Harriet Wheelock.

The Museums Standards Programme for Ireland

The Museums Standards Programme for Ireland is run by the Heritage Council and aims to improve professional standards in the museum sector in Ireland.

The programme is a voluntary one, with RCPI’s Heritage Centre joining in 2014. Other museums to received accreditation in various categories at the ceremony included the Chester Beatty Library, The Butler Gallery, Clare Museum and the Thomas MacDonagh Museum.


RCPI Heritage Centre

We are a research and educational centre specialising in the history of medicine and medical humanities in Ireland.

We are the proud guardians of over 350 years of historical archives dating from the foundation of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 1654. Our collections include manuscripts, books, prints, photographs and other unique items relating to the history of medicine and medical education in Ireland. 

We work to:

  • carefully catalogue and preserve a vast collection of manuscripts, books, images, items and artwork relating to the history of RCPI and medicine in Ireland
  • promote awareness of Ireland's rich medical history
  • grow our collections thanks to generous donations of library and archive material, medical instruments, images and ephemera
  • make the College's unique collections accessible to the public

For more information about our collections and services, visit www.rcpi.ie/heritage-centre/about-us/


Yvonne McCahill

Press Officer, Communications Department

Tel: +353 1 8639 627 | Mobile 086 7723056

For general press enquiries or if you want to speak to a trusted medical expert, contact Yvonne in our Communications Department.