Heritage Collections: Round-up of 2023

It's been another busy year for the RCGP Heritage Collections. Here is a round up of just some of the activities and projects we have taken part in this year.

Exhibitions and tours

Until October 2023, our exhibition celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the College was featured both online and as a physical display at 30 Euston Square.

However, November saw the launch of our brand new exhibition, Life in the Doctor's Bag. This exhibition tells the story of the evolution of the role of the GP over the last 150-200 years, told through the contents of the iconic doctor’s bag. This exhibition can be viewed online or in person at 30 Euston Square.

Also in November, we installed a collection of three works of art on a long-term loan basis. These artworks are made almost entirely out of the packaging and vials of COVID vaccinations. They were designed by Melissa Davies, a staff member of Miriam Primary Care Group and local art student Jono Brown. Thanks to Dr Abhi Mantgani and his team for commissioning, developing and installing these sculptures at 30 Euston Square.

In September we took part in Open House London for the first time since the pandemic. We opened for one day for pre-booked tours. We also offered an opportunity to view the displays on the ground floor of the building and welcomed over 100 visitors.

Our custodian-led tours have been going strong through the year, and our fantastic volunteers have given tours to over 200 people in 2023.

Collections online

Unfortunately, up until now none of collections have been available to view online. However, we are working on changing this. This year we started cataloguing our museum collections online on eHive. Currently there are only a handful of objects live to view, but we will be getting more collections online through 2024.

Expanding our heritage collections

We have continued our work on a project to enhance and diversify our existing oral history collections. We have a particular emphasis on collecting oral histories from our diverse membership community, to ensure representation across all the devolved nations and also to capture our members at various stages of their careers and welcome volunteers coming forward who would like to be interviewed.

We have also had a few interesting donations this year. This includes an archive relating to the early days of the AUTGP, further information on which can be found on our website. We also collected some additional items for use in our new exhibition, such as the forms and more modern equipment, and a few collections relating to past members of the College including Jacob Zeitlin and Norman Beenstock. We have also received some interesting case notebooks from the early 20th century and a fascinating memoir written by a GP in the 1940s amongst other things.

Get involved

If you would be interested in being interviewed as part of this oral history collection, or you have any donations you would like to make to the archive, please email heritage@rcgp.org.uk for further information.

Also, a reminder that the archive collections are available for members to see via a pre-arranged appointment. If there is anything you are researching or have a particular interest in viewing, please contact heritage@rcgp.org.uk.

About the writers

The RCGP heritage team work to tell RCGP's story through archives, exhibitions and research.