Our history and archive

As first the British Paediatric Association and, since 1996, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, we have a rich heritage of collaboration and innovation in child health. We invite you to delve into our history through our members' blogs, and to explore our extensive archive, with subject archive guides on key topics.
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We preserve and enable access to records of our history as the British Paediatric Association (BPA) and a Royal College, and to the history of child health. We welcome enquiries from our members and the general public.
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Our archive includes 5,000 records and may be of interest to those researching the history of medicine, health and social policy, and medical education. All searchable on an easy-to-use online catalogue.
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We warmly welcome donations of material from members, individuals and organisations with an involvement in child health, and our archive collection policy explains this process. You're welcome to contact us with any enquiries.

Our history

Top, black and white photo of members at our first Annual Scientific Meeting in 1929 at Windemere; bottom, colour photos of senior members in 2022 at Windemere

In 1928, six paediatricians attended the first meeting of the British Paediatric Association "to advance, for the benefit of the public, education in child health and paediatrics...". One year later, more joined our first Annual Scientific Meeting in Windemere, Lake District (top photo).

For decades, the Association discussed how to form a college and, on 23 June 1996 we were granted Royal College status. 

In 2022, dozens of our Senior Members, Senior Fellows and Honorary Fellows joined us for a special day out in Windemere, re-enacting that historic photo from almost one hundred years before (bottom photo).

Documents of the RCPCH archive

Our subject guides on a range of child health topics are for researchers interested in child health and the history of paediatrics. They cover subjects as diverse as nutrition, HIV/AIDs, vaccination and children's health during the second world war.