Library collections for RCOG and Royal College of Midwives (RCM)

  • Online enquiry and research service
  • Access to e-journals and e-books
  • Literature searches
  • Document delivery for online articles only as we do not have access to our print collections - although response times may be extended.
  • The Library catalogue is not available online at this time. Please contact the library team to search the print collections on your behalf
  • You can contact the Library Team via:
    • Email: [email protected]
    • Telephone: 020 7772 6309
    • Post: Library Team, 10-18 Union Street, London SE1 1SZ

Heritage Collections for RCOG and Royal College of Midwives (RCM)

  • Both the Archive and Museum is now closed until further notice
  • In the interim, the Library can be contacted in the interim using the above contact details
  • Please do continue to email and write to the service use but be advised that specialist enquiries and work will be paused until Union Street reopens.

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.


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:

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