Medico-Philosophical Society

Repository: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Identity Statement

TitleMedico-Philosophical Society
Archive ReferenceIE RCPI/MPS
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1756-1939
Extent Medium6 items


Creator(s): Medico-Philosophical Society

  • Administrative History ↴

    The Medico-Philosophical Society was established in 1756 by Dr John Rutty, Charles Smith and others, as a small private society which meet once a month to discuss scientific papers, followed by a dinner. Under the rules of the Society the papers presented could cover natural history, natural philosophy, medicine, as well as politics and ethical subjects. There was an especially focus on bringing papers on a 'new discovery or observation made by the writer, or by some other person whose works may have fallen into his way, & not generally known by other members'. The focus of all papers was to be on cases, facts and experiments, rather than hypothetical discourses. The memoirs or minutes of the first incarnation of the Society continued up to 1784, although the Society itself seems to have carried on in some form until 1831. In 1856, attempts we made to reform the Medico-Philosophical Society on the centenary of the Society's foundation. This second incarnation of the Society ran from 1856 to at least 1939. Unlike the first Society the minutes show less of a focus of the sharing of new ideas and research and more on the social aspects. One of the chief concerns of the early years was the collection of photographs of all members for the Members Album. Like the first Society membership was by nomination and election.
  • Archival History ↴

    The papers of the first Society were deposited in the archive on the winding up of the Society in 1831, with the papers of the second Society being added at a later date.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Medico-Philosophical Society ↴

    The memoirs or minute books of the Medico-Philosophical Society from its first period of existence, 1756-1784, with some indexes. Also a minute book and members album from the re-established society, 1856-1939.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    Items are arranged chronologically.

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Access subject to the conditions laid out in the Heritage Centre Access Guidelines
Conditions Governing ReproductionCopying of archive material is subject to the conditions laid out in the Heritage Centre Copying Guidelines
Creation Dates1756-1939
Extent Medium6 items
Finding Aids The collection list is available in the reading room or online Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

There are no Allied Materials

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteHarriet Wheelock
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000. IGAD: Irish Guidelines for Archival Description. Dublin: Society of Archivists, Ireland, 2009.National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997.
Date of Descriptions40634