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Library Europe's largest nursing-specific collection

Using the archives

We have the most important collection of nursing history in the UK.

The majority of records relate to the work and history of the Royal College of Nursing. We also try to reflect the rich and diverse voice of nursing through our personal collections and oral histories. 

The RCN Archive catalogue provides details on how to search our records and what they contain in more detail. 

42 South Oswald Road

Using the archives

Our archive catalogue is available online for searching and help

Anyone is welcome to visit the archive at our Edinburgh office by appointment during our consulting hours 10am - 4pm, Monday-Friday.

To request a visit, please complete the appointment form

Please contact us if you have any queries.



The archive has an extensive collection which contains the RCN corporate archive, personal papers and oral histories from nurses and members of the RCN.

See our catalogue for further information about the archive and its holdings.

A selection of high resolution images are available through our partner Mary Evans Picture Library.

Archive accreditation


We are always looking to add to our collection.

If you have any nursing related diaries, workbooks, photographs, badges etc which you would like us to have and look after for future generations, then please get in touch with us. 

To donate please use this form