Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

About this Organisation

The College was founded in 1599 with the grant of a charter from King James VI of Scotland to Peter Lowe, Surgeon; Robert Hamilton, Physician; and William Spang, Apothecary. The charter empowered them, their heirs and successors to establish a body to examine all professing the art of surgery in Glasgow and South West Scotland. Uniquely for the time, the charter, as well as creating a body which surgeons could join, also allowed physicians to be members.

Today, we are the only multidisciplinary College in the UK with a growing membership of over 14,000 physicians, surgeons, dental professionals, specialists in travel medicine and podiatric medicine.

The College's heritage collections include archives, rare books, museum objects and paintings, spanning over five centuries of the history of medicine and of Scotland in general. Our archive is home to records of the College and its members from 1599 to the present day, as well as over 120 deposited collections relating to medical and surgical organisations and individuals. In our library we hold over 40,000 books relating to medicine, surgery, dentistry, and the history of Scotland, and our museum collection includes over 3,000 medical and surgical instruments.

We are accredited by Museums Galleries Scotland, and welcome visitors to come and make use of these heritage collections.

Organisation Type

Historic Building Library or Archive
Museum Library or Archive
NHS/medical Library or archive
Professional Organisation Library or Archive
School/Further Education Library or Archive


232-242 St Vincent Street
Entry last updated: April 25th, 2018

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