Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Repository: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Identity Statement

TitleRoyal College of Physicians of Ireland
Archive ReferenceIE RCPI/RCPI
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1667-2010
Extent Medium160 boxes


Creator(s): Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

  • Administrative History ↴

    The College of Physicians in Ireland was established in 1667 with a charter granted by Charles II, a second charter granted by William and Mary in 1692 changed the names to the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland. Under the founding charters, which are still in force today, the College was given a number of powers relating to the regulation of the medial profession, including the power to grant licenses to practice medicine. From its foundation the College took a central part in the regulating of the medical practice in Ireland and provided advice on the care of the sick. In 1890 the College's name was changed again to the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, the name it retains today. The aim of the College is “to develop and maintain high professional standards in specialist medical practice in order to achieve optimum patient care and to promote health nationally and internationally".
  • Archival History ↴

    The papers have been collected by the College since its foundation, as the College only had a permanent home from the mid-nineteenth century the majority of the papers date from after this point. The college archive has been moved on a number of occasions resulting in the original order of the records has been lost.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴

    Official Transfer

Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland ↴

    This collection contains the records of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland from its foundation in 1667 to the present. The first four sections cover the governing statutes of the College, the College administration and finances, including the Sir Patrick Dun’s Trust which was administered by the College and owned land in county Waterford.
    Three further sections cover the membership of the College, including Members, Fellows, Licentiates, Honorary Fellows and Officers, the Association of Members, where members discussed medical topics, and the Institutes and Faculties established in the College in the twentieth century.

    The collection contains a substantial amount of material relating to the Heritage Centre of the College, epecially the Dun’s Library and the items collected by the College over time relating to their history. There is also a large collection of material relating to the College’s building on Kildare Street, including papers relating to its construction and subsequent repair and improvement works, as well as a number of architectural plans.

    The final five sections of the collection cover specific areas of the College’s activities over time; their involvement with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in founding and running the Conjoint Examinations Board Ireland; the often fractious relationship between the College, apothecaries and the professions representatives in Apothecaries Hall; the production by the College of the Dublin Pharmacopaeia; the opinion of the College on legislation which directly or indirectly effect the medical profession; the College’s involvement in and views on medical education and registration; and events held by the College.

    The majority of the papers date from the nineteenth century onwards, as this was when the College found a permanent home and so were able to more systematically collect and maintain an archive. There are some papers dating from the eighteenth century, especially in the areas of College administration and the Dun’s Trust, as well as a handful dating from the seventeenth century.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Accruals ↴

    The archive continues to collect the records of the College, with accruals on an annual basis
  • Arrangement ↴

    Papers have been divided into fifteen sections by record type. Within each section further sub-divisions have been made and items have been arranged chronologically.

    Part 1 – Governing Statues
    Part 2 – Administrative Papers
    Part 3 – Financial Papers
    Part 4 – Sir Patrick Dun’s Trust
    Part 5 – Membership of the College
    Part 6 – Association of Members
    Part 7 – Institute and Faculties
    Part 8 – Heritage Centre
    Part 9 – Number 6 Kildare Street
    Part 10 – Conjoint Examinations Board Ireland
    Part 11 – Apothecaries
    Part 12 – The Dublin Pharmacoaeia
    Part 13 – Legislation
    Part 14 – Medical Educationn and Registration
    Part 15 – College Events

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 Dates1667-2010
Extent Medium160 boxes
Characteristics Tech ReqThe material is generally in good condition, where items are damaged this has been noted in the desciption
Finding Aids The collection list is available online and in the reading room

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 Descriptions40575