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Records of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): 2738 RCPCH
Held at: Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
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Full title: Records of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Date(s): 1928-2013
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 2586 files
Name of creator(s): Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health was formerly founded after receiving its Royal Charter in 1996, although itís history extends back to 1928 when the British Paediatric Association was formerly founded. The British Paediatric Association (BPA) was set up with the aims of advancing the study of paediatrics and to promote friendship amongst paediatricians, and 'to advance, for the benefit of the public, education in child health and paediatrics and to relieve sickness by promoting improvements in paediatric practice'. The inaugural meeting was held on the 2nd February 1928 in Stillís House at 28 Queen Anne Street, and despite invitations to twenty four people, only six attended. Sir George Frederic Still, Professor of Paediatrics at King's College London, became the first President and Dr Donald Paterson, a Canadian paediatrician working in London, was the first Honorary Secretary. The first aim of the association was the advancement of the study of paediatrics and the promotion of friendship amongst paediatricians. Between its foundation in 1928 and 1939, the major activity of the association was the organisation of the Annual General Meeting, where the focus was on social activities and the presentation of scientific papers.

Following the outbreak of World War Two, the BPA was involved in lobbying central government for measures to safeguard the health of evacuated children. Subsequently, the BPA grew to be an organisation that actively sought for improvements in child health. This included publishing papers and guidelines on clinical practice, undertaking research and organising conferences. A research unit was established in 1993 to develop, integrate the research, audit and surveillance activities that were being undertaken on an adhoc basis. Throughout the 1970s and 80s BPA members began to feel that paediatrics needed to have its own Royal College. The association received Royal College status in August 1996, and took responsibility for the training and education of paediatricians in the UK. Sir Roy Meadow became its first President and HRH the Princess Royal, its Patron. In 1996, upon receiving the Royal Charter and following negotiations with the three other UK Colleges of Physicians, the organisation became responsible for postgraduate and medical education, including continuing professional development. The governing body of the RCPCH is its Council, comprising the President and Honorary Officers, elected representatives from England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland and elected representatives of trainees and associate members. Council delegates many of its functions to standing committees and the College also sets up ad hoc working parties to deal, as necessary, with a wide range of particular subjects. Many of the Collegeís standing committees and working parties are established jointly with other professional bodies. Such committees produce reports, initiate special enquiries and make recommendations in policy and action to parent bodies.

The RCPCH also supports paediatric specialty groups concerned with scientific and other aspects of the various paediatric specialties. They act independently but liaise closely with the RCPCH; membership of the groups is not necessarily confined to members of the RCPCH. The RCPCH is a registered charity to which members contribute by an annual subscription. Officers, committee members, working party members and representatives act in an honorary capacity. Members are supported by the College Staff, who as of 2012 work within four divisions: Education and training; Research and Policy; Communications; Corporate Services.


Scope and content/abstract:

This archive consists of the records of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and its predecessor, the British Paediatric Association from 1928 up until the present day. It is mainly focused on the organisations work within the United Kigndom, although examples of where the College has worked internationally are included in the collection. It is comprised of material relating to: The Annual General Meeting; Awards, Lectureships and Fellowships; Committees and Sub Committees; Council; Education and Training Activities; College Events; Health Policy; International activities; Published Material; Records of College Officers; Research activities.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

See scope and content

Conditions governing access:

Material under 20 years old is not routinely accessible to members of the public, although access may be granted under some circumstances and users are advised to make an application to access this material. Restrictions may apply to information about living, identifiable individuals under the Data Protection Act 1998. Uncatalogued material is not available to the public, although speculative enquiries are welcome. Appointments to view the material may be made by contacting the College by email to

Conditions governing reproduction:

Conditions governing use and reproduction Copyright is retained by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Any material within this catalogue may not be reproduced without written permission from the College Archivist.

Finding aids:

Records also on the Archives Hub

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry transcribed by Geoff Browell

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
August 2013

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