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RCGP Fellowship and Awards Papers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2134 ACE E
Held at: Royal College of General Practitioners
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Full title: RCGP Fellowship and Awards Papers
Date(s): 1955-2000
Level of description: Sub Fonds
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Extent: 10 metres
Name of creator(s): Royal College of General Practitioners


Administrative/Biographical history:

The College of General Practitioners was founded in October 1952 in an atmosphere of wanting to improve standards of general practice. It was felt that the creation of lectureships and awards for outstanding achievement would help towards building up an academic base of a speciality with few academic traditions and no university departments. The College currently [2002] has over twenty awards, some open to competition and some by nomination.

Most of awards are administered by the Awards Committee, chaired by the President. This Committee was founded in 1955, in 1966 it merged with the Ethics Committee to be the Awards and Ethics Committee but in 1985 it reverted to its original title.

One of the Awards Committee's first acts in 1955 was to agree that some of money donated by founder members to establish the College be used for a Foundation Council Award, to be given occasionally for "work of the highest merit in the realm of general practice or for service of the greatest distinction to the cause of general practice". The same year, 1955 they awarded the first Butterworth Gold medal [an essay competition] as well as creating Honorary Fellowship [for non members of the College] and a strictly limited grade of membership - Fellowship "To be awarded to members of at least five years standing who had rendered special service to general practice and/or the College."

The first lectureship was named after Sir James Mackenzie(1853-1925) and was delivered at the second AGM in 1954 by William Pickles (1885-1969) the first President of the College. Sir Denis Pereira Gray [Forty Years On. RCGP. 1992 page 81] described this decision "[A named lecture] has the effect both of keeping the memory of the person alive ... whilst honouring someone of a new generation at the same time. It can also provide a valuable focus for an event and help to hold the members of an organisation together by uniting them around a set of shared values ... it publicly valued research, reminding the whole membership that as far back as the 1890's, Mackenzie, a British general practitioner was publishing world class research". This major lectureship given at every AGM, concentrates on clinical themes and is always published originally in The Practitioner and laterly in the College's own journal BJGP.

The second major lectureship of the College is the William Pickles lectureship, which was founded in 1968, is usually given during the annual provincial Spring symposium of the College and has an educational theme.

A third lectureship was established in 1992 to commemorate the College's fortieth anniversary. It is named after John Hunt (1905-1987)and is given by someone who is not medically qualified. The inaugural lecturer was HRH The Prince of Wales.

The College is made up of many regional faculties, many of which have developed their own lectures and awards. The first of these was the Gale memorial lecture of the South West Faculty [now the Severn Faculty] in 1957. Many new lectureships have been founded by faculties since the 1980's after the deaths of many distinguished early members of the College e.g. George Swift (Wessex Faculty 1982) and Robin Pinsent (Midland Faculty 1992) lectures.

Other awards include the Upjohn Travelling Fellowship (from 1957); Undergraduate Essay competition (from 1957); James Mackenzie prize for clinical research (from 1961); Astra Awards for trainees (from 1977); George Abercrombie award for outstanding contributions to the literature of general practice (from 1970); Fraser Rose gold medal for highest marks in membership examination(from 1972); Sir Harry Jephcott Visiting Professorship to a British University (from 1972); John Hunt Fellowship to be College Education Dean (1974); Patient Participation award(from 1996); John Fry award for research by a young member (from 1995); Kuenssberg award for an important advance in the provision of medical care in general practice (from 1984) and The President's Medal from 1998).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records generated by committees concerned with the granting of College fellowships, awards and other honours:
Minutes, papers and correspondence of Awards Committee 1955-1989[ACE E1-3] and Committee on Fellowship 1966-1997[ACE E4-5; E12-14].
Papers relating to the administration of specific awards e.g. Baron Dr Ver Heyden De Lancey Memorial Award 1977-1995 [ACE E7]; Butterworth Medal 1955-1983 [ACE E8]; Undergraduate Essay Prize 1963-1990 [ACE E9]; Pfizer Postgraduate Grant 1956-1966 [ACE E9]; Nuffield Postgraduate Fellowship 1964-1969 [ACE E 10]; Upjohn Travelling Fellowship 1957-1982 [ACE E11]; James Mackenzie Prize 1961-1966 [ACE E15]; Kuenssberg Prize 1979-1986 ACE E16]; Stanning Overseas Fellowship 1971-1981 [ACE E17]; Sir Harry Jephcott Visiting Professorship 1971-1990 [ACE E18]; Wolfson Foundation Overseas Travelling Professorship 1971-1985 [ACE E19]; Astra Research Award 1977-1989 [ACE E20] and Duphar Research Award 1978-1987 [ACE E21].

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

By award.

Conditions governing access:

Access is at the discretion of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Requests for access should be made in writing to The Archivist, Royal College of General Practitioners, 14 Princes Gate, Hyde Park, London SW7 1PU.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright is vested in the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Finding aids:

A database of all of the College archives, down to individual files level is maintained by the Archivist. The database can be searched in the College library. There is also a card index to bound Council minutes from 1954-1980.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Creating department

Allied Materials

Related material:

There will also be material relating to Awards and Fellowships in papers created by the departments of Corporate Affairs [ACE A] Research [ACE G]; Education [ACE H]; Quality and Clinical [J] especially where the awards related to specific activities within that particluar department. Press releases relating to recipients of the awards will be in the Public Relations Department papers.
Papers relating to faculty awards will be in Faculty papers ARE.
The may be photographs of the recipients of the awards in archives college photograph collection.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

List of current College awards available reprinted each year.
The Pickles and Mackenzie lectures are published each year.
Chronology of The RCGP by Subject Lectureships, fellowship, medals, prizes and awards on College Web site
Annual reports of the College include lists of recipents of awards, lectureships and Fellowships; A History of the Royal College of General Practitioners edited by John Fry, Lord Hunt of Fawley and RJFH Pinsent (1983); Forty Years On - The Story of the First Forty Years of The Royal College of General Practitioners (London RCGP. 1992), pp.81-87; page 106.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Claire Jackson, College Archivist, Royal College of General Practitioners.

Rules or conventions:
: National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997; ISAD(G), Second Edition, 2000.

Date(s) of descriptions:
February 2002

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