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The RCVS Knowledge maintains and curates the RCVS archives, which offer a unique insight into the history of the British veterinary profession and the lives of the members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

They include:

  • Records relating to the RCVS including manuscripts about its foundation, Council and committee minutes from 1844 onwards, and papers relating to the day to day work of the College.
  • A large collection of paintings and photographs of past Presidents, Fellows and other eminent vets and of the College and its various activities. A number of the paintings can be seen online on Art UK.
  • Selection of items from the Frederick Smith Collection relating to the War in South AfricaDonated or deposited personal or private records belonging to members of the College including those of Major General Sir Frederick Smith, Dame Olga Uvarov and Connie Ford. The photograph on the right shows a selection of items from the Frederick Smith Collection relating to the War in South Africa.
  • Papers of several veterinary associations including the Society of Women Veterinary Surgeons (1941-1990).
  • Collections of manuscript lecture notes taken by students including those of Professor Edward Coleman’s lectures both at the Royal Veterinary College and St Thomas’ Hospital (1809-1833).
  • Day books from veterinary practices.

We continue to welcome donations that will add to the archives. If you wish to donate material, please contact us at [email protected] or 020 7202 0752.

If you would like to use material in the archives please contact us at [email protected] or 020 7202 0752 to arrange an appointment.

RCVS Vet History

In 2015, we embarked on a five year project to catalogue and digitise priority documents from the historic collection, and make this unique resource widely available online, not just to the veterinary profession, but to the public as well.

You can now access descriptions of archive material via the Archive Catalogue, and view highlights from the archive and library collections via the Digital Collections website. More content is being frequently added to both sites, so to keep up to date, please follow our Historical Collections blog or our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

This project is supported by the Alborada Trust, Vets4Pets & Companion Care.