Great news! Wiley is making the The Royal College of Physicians – Part I (Wiley Digital Archives) available to Jisc members in perpetuity as a gesture of thanks for participating in the Wiley transitional agreement in 2022. History of medicine researchers can now benefit from access to this resource.
The Royal College of Physicians – Part I (Wiley Digital Archives) will be of most interest to those studying history of Western medicine covering the 12th century to 1862. The archive is useful for researchers studying the history of anatomy, folk medicine, herbal medicine, healers and domestic medicine, medical law and policy, medical research (disease/treatment), medical and biological Illustration, and health education during the early modern and parts of the modern period.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) was founded so that physicians could be formally licensed to practise and those who were not qualified could be exposed and punished. There are many archive records defining the RCP’s changing role in setting standards in medical practice. RCP members have always collected manuscripts and papers on a wide range of medical and non-medical topics.
The Royal College of Physicians – Part I includes content from the 12th century to 1862, though some papers are dated later. Most of the collections are from British sources. A notable exception is the (Arthur Stanley) Tritton Oriental Manuscripts collection, which contains early Arabic medical manuscripts.
Important papers relate to William Harvey, Edward Jenner, John Latham, Thomas Lawrence, and other physicians. Papers will typically include notebooks containing medical extracts and observations, prescriptions, lecture notes, admissions tickets, diaries, correspondence, treatises, etc. Collections of 17th and 18th century polymaths may also include history of science material (e.g. John Dee on astronomy or mathematics).
The rest of Part I contains papers relating to the founding and running of the RCP itself and throw light on the history of the professionalisation of the medical profession. There are records relating to college officers & staff, education, examination, finance, events, legal status, estates records, trusts & bequests, membership, professional affairs, Regulation of Clinical Practice and Standards, and the college library.
Also of interest: