Royal College of Physicians of London Library

Contact details

Website: Email: Tel: 020 3075 1539

Photo of Royal College of Physicians, London

Image copyright: Royal College of Physicians, London

About the library

The Royal College of Physicians of London (RCP) is the professional body for physicians, with over 30,000 members and fellows across the globe. The RCP has an extensive library, supporting the needs of its members and reflecting their interests since the RCP’s foundation in 1518. Today the print collections number more than 55,000 titles, including current clinical, educational and professional resources, secondary sources on the history of medicine and a large collection of rare books whose highlights include 119 items from before 1501, and over 100 books previously owned by Elizabethan astrologer John Dee.

The Medical Education Resource Centre was set up in 2002 to provide resources and information support to doctors undertaking educational programmes with the RCP. The collection is focused on medical education, clinical teaching, and leadership and also has a small collection of revision textbooks for the MRCP (UK) exam.

The local library catalogue is available online.

British Library Interlibrary Loan Codes

  • Royal College of Physicians of London 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 reading room is open to the public whilst the Medical Education Resource Centre (MERC) is not. Items from the MERC can be viewed in the reading room with advanced notice.

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

Most of the library collection is in storage. We can fetch many library items in storage on request, but some require advance notice. The RCP’s library catalogue describes these restrictions under ‘Item Details’.

Please make a research appointment to view pre-1850 printed material. Research appointments are available between 9.30am and 5pm Mondays-Fridays. Advance booking is essential and we ask for at least three days’ notice. All visitors making research appointments must register at the start of their first visit; and renew their registration annually. They must supply two forms of ID to register. Contact us for more details.

Some rare books will be unavailable for three months at a time throughout 2015 and early 2016, whilst they are digitised as part of UK-MHL; these are marked as ‘on loan’ in the library catalogue.

All visitors should go to the main reception on arrival, where they will be directed to the reading room.


The RCP is next to Regent's Park, a five minute walk from Great Portland Street and Regent's Park underground stations. The Wellcome Trust and the British Library are a 10-15 minute walk away.

Our library reading room is on the top floor of the RCP's headquarters at:
11 St Andrews Place
Regent’s Park

The Royal College of Physicians of London data on Copac

Example record from the Royal College of Physicians of London Library:

Title: Fabritii Paduanii philisophi ac medici ... Tractatus duo alter de ventis, alter de terraemotu : adiecto indice copiosissimo. / [By Padovani, Fabrizio.]
   Published: Bologna : Apud Ioannem Baptistam Bellagambam 1601

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