New audio guide at The Royal London Hospital

Friday 19th January 2018

The Royal London Hospital Museum has launched a free audio guide ‘I am Human – a walking tour of the Royal London Hospital’

I am Human publicity banner

‘I am Human’ retells the story of the hospital’s most famous resident, Joseph Merrick ‘The Elephant Man’, through the eyes of Merrick himself. Based on sources held in the hospital’s archives, the audio guide brings 1880s Whitechapel to life as told by Merrick, the illustrious surgeon Sir Frederick Treves, the resourceful young matron Eva Luckes and a medical student training at the College.

The guide was produced by the museum in collaboration with Queen Mary’s University of London’s English Department and was made possible through funding from the University’s Centre for Public Engagement.


Join the new volunteer team at the Royal College of Physicians

Monday 15th January 2018


The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) museum is establishing a new team of volunteers to help support our work during the RCP’s 500th anniversary year.

The role

As a volunteer you will contribute to the museum’s exciting 2018 programme, which includes talks, exhibition launches, late museum openings and special events. The programme is designed for the museum’s diverse audience, covering history, art, architecture and the RCP medicinal garden. The RCP also takes part in annual city-wide events including Open House London, Open Garden Squares and Open City.

We are looking for friendly and enthusiastic people to help deliver our public events programme. A passion for history, museums or medicine would be an advantage; previous experience of volunteering in a front of house or visitor experience capacity would be beneficial but is not essential. Knowledge of medicine or the RCP is not required.

Training will be offered to all new volunteers, to familiarise them with the RCP building and museum collections.

What you will be doing

  • welcoming and registering guests at museum events
  • providing information about the museum collections and the public events programme
  • invigilating the exhibition and museum display spaces
  • ensuring the safety and security of museum objects, archives and rare books that are on display
  • answering inquiries or directing visitors to museum staff
  • assisting with Q&A sessions at events
  • distributing multimedia guides to visitors
  • distributing audience feedback forms.

The role includes volunteering at evening and occasional weekend events, all at the RCP building in Regent’s Park. Travel expenses within London will be reimbursed (a maximum limit will apply).

Successful applicants are expected to volunteer at one event per month, for a minimum of 3 months.

What we can offer you

  • free refreshments while volunteering
  • free lunch (if working 6 hours or more)
  • on-site use of the RCP libraries
  • free tickets for RCP events
  • opportunity to attend LAMS (Library, Archive and Museum Services) department external visits
  • training opportunities in relevant fields
  • opportunity to attend the RCP summer fun day and Christmas volunteers receptions
  • CV advice and support.

How to apply

For more information see the RCP volunteering website. To request an application form, contact Natalie Craven, public programmes officer:

The deadline for applications is Monday 29 January 2018, 10am.

Please note: there is no guarantee of paid employment at the RCP museum following this role.

Up Close and Medical: Discover London’s Medical Museums

Tuesday 3rd October 2017

Enjoyed the recent BBC Two comedy series Quacks? Get your hands on some of the collections that inspired the programme at our special half-term event hosted by the Royal College of Nursing on Saturday 28 October, 14.00-17.00.

Explore thirteen of London’s Medical Museums all in one place at this trade fair with a difference.

As well handling objects from centuries past, there will be opportunities to test your surgical skills, try your hand at Victorian pill making and find out more about your own family history.

This event is free, open to all and family friendly. You do not need to book, but you may find it useful to register here to receive a reminder email before the event.

After hours we will be staying open for an entertaining evening of medical museum open mic.

Watch museums stand-up and hear the weirdest and wildest medical stories as we show off the lighter side of medical history. Each museum will fill a 9-minute slot, all smoothly and hilariously brought together by our compere Comedian Dan Green.

Tickets cost £7 and include a free drink. Book here.

Over 1.5 million nursing records published on Ancestry

Thursday 18th August 2016

Three collections of nursing registers and application forms held by the Royal College of Nursing and the Wellcome Library have been published digitally for the first time by specialist family history website Ancestry.

The records span nurses’ registrations and appointments from 1891-1968, and provide a unique insight into nursing and women’s history in the UK.

Among the records is RCN founder Dame Sarah Swift.

As her record shows, she was trained in the Dundee Royal Infirmary and received her certificate in nursing in 1880.

Her extensive experience and contacts with the matrons of large and prestigious hospitals meant that she was ideally placed to successfully champion the formation of the College of Nursing.

Other famous names in nursing include Dame Joanna Margaret Cruickshank, the founder of the Royal Air Force Nursing Service, and Dame Emily Mathieson Blair, former Matron-in-Chief of the British Red Cross Society.

The new resource will give families and historians the chance to uncover previously untold stories of nurses from the UK and overseas.

Janet Davies, RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary, said: “The RCN is committed to preserving the history of the nursing profession, so it’s wonderful to see the records of so many inspiring nurses being digitised for the very first time, especially during our centenary year.

Nurses have touched the lives of so many families, and this resource gives people the chance to travel back in time to discover the real lives of their nursing relatives.

Caring for the nation for generations, often through wars and crises, these nursing staff deserve to be remembered, and this unique project will help preserve their legacy for many more years to come.”

Members wishing to view the records without subscription can visit their nearest RCN Library.

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