The Library and Heritage collections fully re-open from Monday 6 June 2022

We are happy to announce the full re-opening of the RCOG and RCM Library and Heritage Collections, including:

  • The re-opening of the Museum and accredited Archive services, including research visits and guided tours
  • A return of full access to the Library print collection of specialist books and journals
  • Opening of the RCOG and RCM Arulkumaran Reading Room, featuring a portrait of the former President above the Enquiry Desk.


Appointments to access the Collections can be booked in advance via email or telephone on the following days between 10.00 and 16.00:

  • Monday – RCOG Library
  • Tuesday – RCM Library
  • Wednesday – RCOG and RCM Heritage
  • Thursday – RCOG and RCM Heritage
  • Friday – RCOG Library.

Please note that some of the Library and Archives print collection is in storage. So, wherever possible:

  • appointments to access these collections are be made at least 4 days in advance; and
  • document delivery times may be extended.

Contact details

Learn more about our Library's extensive collection

Our members have access to more than 11,900 books and 457 journals including Nursing Notes, an excellent resource for information on midwifery training and professional activity. The library is one of the only two libraries in the world to hold the complete set.

We have a prestigious collection of books, journals, archives and artefacts relating to the current practice and history of midwifery held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). The collections include information on all aspects of clinical obstetrics, gynaecology and midwifery, as well as education, the history of the two colleges and the development of women's health.

Access to library includes:

159 Ebooks

Take a look at the new titles added to our eBook collection:


Please click on VleBooks catalogue to access the full text online.

The Midwife's Tale Oral History Collection

This series of oral history recordings and transcripts was collected and preserved by Billie Hunter and Nicky Leap while researching and writing their book The Midwife’s Tale: An Oral History from Handywoman to Professional Midwife (London: Scarlet Press, 1993).

To access transcripts of The Midwife's Tale oral history collection, please click here.


Print and E-journals in our collections.

To access the below E-Journals, click on the links below and, where required, use the username and password provided.

Journal of Asian Midwives (open access journal)
Published by South Asian Midwifery Alliance (SAMA)

The European Journal of Midwifery (open access journal)
Published by EU European Publishing

Journal of Midwifery & Reproductive Health (open access journal) 
Published by Mashhad University of Medical Sciences

Nursing and Midwifery Studies (open access journal)
Trauma Nursing Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran

Journal of Pregnancy (open access journal)
Published by Hindawi Publishing Corporation (Egypt)

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (open access journal)
Publisher: BioMed Central

Maternal Health, Neonatology and Perinatology (open access journal)
Publisher: BioMed Central

Obstetrics and Gynecology International (open access journal)

Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (open access journal)

International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (open access journal)
Publisher: International Scholars Journals (ISJ)

The AIMS Journal (Open access from the beginning of 2018)
Published by The Association for Improvements in Maternity Services (AIMS)    

Open Access Databases

Advice on effective literature searching

The Cochrane Library is available freely throughout England under the terms of a Department of Health contract with the publishers, Wiley.

It incorporates the following:

  • The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Cochrane reviews)
  • Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (other reviews)
  • The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (clinical trials)
  • The Cochrane Methodology Register (methods studies)
  • Health Technology Assessment Database (technology assessments)
  • NHS Economic Evaluation Database (economic evaluations) 

PubMed, which incorporates the PubMed MEDLINE database together with some additional resources, is freely available at It is a very useful resource for midwifery searches, particularly on topics of a more medical nature. A National Library of Medicine tutorial on the use of PubMed is available. King's College London has also produced its own guide, Searching for literature using PubMed.

Evidence Search: Health and Social Care, provided by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), draws together high quality, evidence-based resources, including aspects of women’s health. Most resources on the site are freely accessible although some may require an NHS England username and password.

Social Care Online, which is produced by SCIE, the Social Care Institute for Excellence, covers all aspects of social care. It may be useful for researching topics such as domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, substance misuse and social exclusion. Content is drawn from a range of resources including journal articles, websites, research reviews, legislation and government documents, and service user knowledge.

The TRIP (Turning Research into Practice) Database provides a searchable index of evidence-based health resources. TRIP search tips are available.

Subscription Database

CINAHL® with Full Text is the world's most comprehensive source of full text for nursing and allied health journals, providing full text for more than 560 journals indexed in CINAHL. Of those, nearly 400 have cover-to-cover indexing in CINAHL, and more than 230 of these are not available with full text from any other EBSCO database.

This authoritative file contains full text for many of the most-used journals in the CINAHL index with no embargo. With more than 600,000 full-text articles dating back to 1937, CINAHL with Full Text is the definitive research tool for all areas of nursing and allied health literature.

Content includes:

  • full text for more than 560 journals
  • more than 600,000 full text articles dating back to 1937

The CINAHL® login details are only available to RCM members. If you're already a member, please log in. Otherwise, why not join the RCM today to gain access to this, as well as a host of useful member benefits.

The RCM Library collection also contains:

  • RCM Publications
  • Midwifery Conference Proceedings inc. ICM congress
  • Midwives Rules (LOS,CNB, UKCC, NMC)
  • Midwives Roll
  • Exam papers

The combined RCM and RCOG collections bring together material from the broad spread of women's health, providing an unparalleled resource for research and education. 

Library catalogue

As the first step of a plan to deliver a single, digital source of information about the library and heritage (archive, rare books, museum and artworks) collections, the current Library catalogue will not be available online from 1 October 2020. For the time being, Library and Heritage collections can be accessed in the following ways:

Contacting the Library at the RCOG

  • Contact: [email protected] or for all your online enquiries, such as: enquiry handling, access to e-journals and e-books, inter-library loans and literature searches. Alternatively enquiries can be submitted using the enquiries form. However, for document delivery, we currently only have partial access to our print collections.

The RCM's heritage collection

The RCM's heritage collection is held at the RCOG, and is accessible to RCM members and staff as well as external researchers. There is also a blog: Midwives Chronicle: The Heritage Blog of the Royal College of Midwives.

This unique and historically important collection dates from the foundation of the RCM in 1881 as the Midwives Institute, and includes the papers of the organisation (such as committee minutes and reports, correspondence and papers of the college president, general secretary and honorary treasurer, scrapbooks, photographs and printed material) as well as donated material from midwives past and present, including a diverse range of case registers, and artefacts such as uniforms, midwifery instruments, midwives’ bags, and badges.

The RCM heritage collection provides a fascinating insight into the art of midwifery and the campaign for the registration, training and education of midwives, women’s health, childbirth, pregnancy, contraception and abortion.

Statistics resources in women's health