Royal College of Nursing Library

Contact details

Website: E-mail: Tel: +44 (0)345 337 3368

Photo of the Royal College of Nursing Library, London

Royal College of Nursing Library. Image copyright: Royal College of Nursing, London

About the library

The Royal College of Nursing Library and Archive Service is Europe’s largest nursing resource, with a wealth of print and e-resources.

The Collection dates mainly from the 1850s onwards. We strive to remain the pre-eminent specialist nursing collection of English language materials in Europe: collecting books, journals, nursing PhD theses, pamphlets, rare grey literature, audio-visual, digital objects, oral histories, images and archives through to the most recent e-books, e-journals and e-resources.

The Royal College of Nursing is a professional UK membership body and union of over 400,000 registered nurses, midwives, health care assistants and nursing students.

The Library and Archive Service supports our members, who work in a range of health care specialties and settings in the NHS and independent sectors. Around 35,000 nursing students are members.

For more details of our collections see our website.

The full local library catalogue is available online.

British Library Interlibrary Loan Codes

  • Royal College of Nursing Library: G2

Accessing materials

Can I see live document availability on Copac? No.

Can I obtain items via Inter Library Loan? Yes, subject to the library's local lending policy. You have to request an inter-library loan via a library of which you are a member. Talk to your own library staff about whether they think the document you need is likely to be available for loan and for advice on making an inter-library loan request. Libraries should email their requests to quoting their British Library account code and a request reference number.

Can I visit the library to view materials? The library is open to the public, however items from the permanent collection can only be viewed in the reading room with advanced notice.

Visitors are welcome to browse the more recent printed items in the library.

Please make a research appointment to view our permanent collections. Research appointments are available between 1.30pm and 4.30pm on Thursdays. Advance booking is essential and we ask for at least five days’ notice. All visitors making research appointments must supply one form of photographic ID and one proof of address. Contact us for more details.


The RCN is in Cavendish Square, a five minute walk from Oxford Circus and Bond Street underground stations. Our library & heritage Centre is in the RCN's headquarters at: 20 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0RN (Entrance via Henrietta Place).

Royal College of Nursing data on Copac

Example record from the Royal College of Nursing's collections:

The symptoms, nature, causes and cure of febricula, or little fever : commonly called the nervous or hysteric fever; the fever on the spirits; vapours, hypo, or spleen / by Sir Richard Manningham, Knt., M.D., F.R.S., and of the College of Physicians, London.
  London : Printed for J. Robinson at the Golden-Lion in Ludgate-Street MDCCL [1750]

You can browse all the titles on Copac starting with the above title.