Archive collection policy

We welcome offers to develop our collection that relate to the history of the College and child health. Our Archive Collection Policy defines our archival collections and gives information about what we accept.
Last modified
30 May 2024

We also collect member biographies to make available as a resource in the future and be used for obituaries. To discuss a donation, submit a biography or for more information please contact

1 Purpose of the policy

1.1 This policy outlines and informs the way in which the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) collects and manages its Archive

1.2 It is reviewed and updated where necessary every two years.

2 About the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

2.1 The British Paediatric Association (BPA) was founded in 1928 with the aims of advancing the study of paediatrics and promoting friendship amongst paediatricians. The BPA received its Royal College status in 1996 and took responsibility for the training and education of paediatricians in the UK. Its Archive holds the records of the BPA, the Royal College and history of child health, including:- Records of the Annual General Meeting, Committees and Council- Records of awards, lectureships and fellowships- Records of historical College publications including annual reports, policy statements and Research and Clinical audit- Legal and constitutional records - Biographical information about paediatricians - Records relating to specific child health cases - Records relating to the evolution of paediatrics as a medical specialty. 

3 Collections

3.1 The RCPCH Archive seeks to collect records that document the history of the College and its role in paediatrics and child health, including:

3.1.1 Records that show the corporate memory of the RCPCH and its predecessor the BPA, including evidence of activities, key events and achievements, and any other records that build the identity of the College.

3.1.2 Records that show its work with other organisations in the UK and internationally.

3.1.3 Records that show the history of paediatrics and child health, including published material.

3.1.4 Records from individuals and organisations actively involved in paediatrics and the RCPCH.

3.2 Format: The Archive accepts standard formats that we can access and preserve long term, for example paper, photographs, electronic records, audio-visuals and objects

3.3 Copies: The Archive will normally only keep one copy of a record unless it is of significant historical value.

3.4 Date: The Archive holds records from the foundation of the BPA in 1928 to present, but earlier records may be considered where they fall within the remit of this Policy.

3.5 Records are only collected if the donor confirms that he/she is the legal owner of the records and undertakes to provide proof of ownership if requested by the Archive.

3.6 The Information Governance Team reserves the right to return to the donor any records deemed to be of no historical interest or, not of sufficient quality for permanent preservation. As part of the agreement with the depositor, the Information Governance Team may transfer them to a more appropriate place of deposit or to destroy them at their discretion. 

3.7 Method of Collection

3.7.1 The Archive will mainly collect records created or received by the College during its business. However, the Archive may take in small discreet donated collections at the discretion of the Information Governance Team, where these fall within this Collection Policy. If the Information Governance Team is unsure about the relevance of the collection, they will ask the College's Registrar for advice and guidance. 

3.7.2 The Archive will not usually accept material as a loan. Instead, material will be collected as a deposit.

3.7.3 A donation agreement will need to be completed and the donor may be asked for proof that he/she is the legal owner of the records (appendix A).

4 Catalogue

4.1 Records will be catalogued in accordance with RCPCH guidelines and ISAD(G).

4.2 Records may be weeded and destroyed if they are seen to have no historical interest or if there are copies.

4.3 Some records will be closed under legislation, such as Data Protection legislation.

5 Conservation

5.1 The Archive agrees to take all reasonable steps necessary to minimise deterioration in the physical condition of the records arising from the inexorable processes of biological and chemical decay and shall endeavour so far as labour and funding permit to carry out preventative or restorative conservation work to the records.

5.2 Records may be stored offsite securely in compliance with archival environmental standards (PD5454) to prevent loss, damage and deterioration.

5.3 The Archive may at its discretion:

5.3.1 Photograph, microfilm, digitise, or otherwise copy or electronically reproduce the records.

5.3.2 Carry out such work in regard to the conservation of the documents as may from time to time be considered desirable and practical by the Information Governance Team.

5.3.3 Withhold or limit public access to documents in a fragile condition until such time as all practical and necessary measures to conserve them have been carried out.

6 Loans and exhibitions

6.1 Records may be required for in-house exhibitions or to illustrate talks and lectures by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. They may be displayed in original or copy form at the discretion of the Information Governance Team.

6.2 Original material may be loaned to other archives/museums if conditions are in accordance with PD5454 and if the borrower takes full responsibility for the care of the item. However, the use of copies would be encouraged.

7 Access

7.1 At the discretion of the Information Management Team and subject to the relevant access legislation, records will be made freely available to researchers.

7.2 Consultation of Archive collections will be on appointment only basis at the RCPCH London office and conducted under the supervision of the Information Management Team to prevent loss or damage.

7.3 Restrictions may be placed on public access to archive records for a specific period of years either because of the particular sensitivity of their contents or to comply with legal requirements such as Data Protection legislation.

7.4 The Archive reserves the right to publish records in Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health publications, online, or by way of other electronic formats.