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.
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.
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

Formal photo of the members at the first general meeting of the BPA
An early meeting of the BPA

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

Fast forward to 2021, and this summer we celebrate our 25th birthday as RCPCH. We're looking to the past and the future at the many ways the College supports our members and the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Related blogs and updates

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.