About the History of Medicine Library
The History of Medicine Library at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has a leading collection of medical history items from Australia and around the world. The RACP established the History of Medicine Library in 1938 as a clinical library. The focus of the library changed to medical history in the mid 1950’s. The History of Medicine Library continues to grow through the contributions of our College members.
The library holds over 30,000 medical history items, including:
- Manuscripts (war diaries, private Physician papers)
- Photographs (Fellows, historical medical sites)
- Historical medical pamphlets
- An early medicine catalogue
- Antique medical instruments
Who can use the library?
The library is open to College Fellows and trainees at the RACP, as well as members of the public.
We encourage students, researchers, genealogists and anyone who is interested in medical history to view our library collection.
What does the library offer?
Use our library resources to access a unique collection of medical history items, and modern publications from Australia and around the world.
The Librarian can help you by searching print and electronic resources, or advising where to source information. Contact the History of Medicine Library for assistance on the contact details below.
Borrow from our collection
College Fellows and trainees can borrow library items directly from the History of Medicine Library.
The public can borrow items through the inter library loans system. Enquire at your local library about the inter library loans process.
Rare material published before the 1900’s is generally not for loan, but can be viewed and photocopied on library premises.
Library temporary closure for remediation
The History of Medicine Library, housed on the ground floor of 145 Macquarie Street is a valuable resource for Fellows, trainees, medical researchers and members of the public.
But as can be expected with a building of Macquarie Street’s age and heritage, over decades there has been a degree of gradual moisture ingress at different periods.
The College now needs to take proactive steps to remediate this.
As a result, the Library has been closed to all members, researchers and members of the public while our entire collection is moved to storage offset so that assessment and remediation work can begin.
While the exact duration of closure is unclear at this point, the collection will be returned in a staged manner throughout 2018 and early 2019.
The College regrets the inconvenience, but asks for your understanding in helping us preserve our important collection of medical texts and artefacts for the future.
Contact the History of Medicine Library
Contact our Librarian for further information on the History of Medicine Library.
Phone: +61 (2) 9256 5413