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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

An opportunity to contribute towards the history and development of psychiatry


The Royal College of Psychiatrists is inviting you to donate towards the conservation and repair of its antiquarian book collection.


The Collection

Books in need of conservationThe College has a large collection of antiquarian books, with some dating as far back as the 15th century. Most of the books were donated to the College in 1895 in the form of donations from the libraries of doctors Daniel Hack Tuke, J Lord, C Lockhart Robertson and J Whitwell. The collection is an important source of information on the history and development of the medical descipline of psychiatry.


What is covered?

The collection is a great source of information on the study of psychiatry, subjects covered include:

  • The structure, functions and diseases of the brain;
  • Causes and cures of nervous disorders;
  • Administration of asylums;
  • Philosophy and anatomy of sleep;
  • Causes, prevention and treatment of mental disorders;
  • Habitual drunkeness 


The collection contains books written by notable authors, such as Daniel Hack Tuke, Forbes Winslow, Henry Maudsley, John Connolly,  Emil Kraepelin and many others.


The appeal

The appeal for donations is directed at anyone who is interested in restoring and conserving the collection to a condition suitable for its use by researchers, historians, and members of the public.It is also directed at those who are interested in preserving the collection as part of our national heritage.


Making a donation

All those interested in making a donation need to select a book from a list of books to be adopted. The list will give details about the conservation requirements and the cost of repairing that book. However, sponsors are free to donate part of the total cost. This will result in them sharing the adoption of that book with other donors.


Sponsors who donate the full amount necessary for the restoration of any book, or £100 or more towards a restoration, will have a specially inscribed bookplate placed in their adopted book. Bookplates will either carry the donor’s name or could be dedicated in the memory of friend or family member. (See the designs here).



Restored Books


  Book 3   Stripy book   red bk
  Box for: Gordonius, B. (1559) Bern. Gordonii opus, lilium medicinae inscriptum de morborum prope omnium curatione.   Cheyne, J (1843) Essays in partial derrangement of the mind in supposed connection with religion.   A Sane Patient (1879) My experiences in a Lunatic Asylum.  






For a list of the books available to be adopted, and donation forms, please see the above links. Or, for more information contact The Archivist, Francis Maunze, at the following address:


Royal College of Psychiatrists

21 Prescot St


E1 8BB

Tel: 020 7235 2351 x 2539

Direct Line: 020 3701 2539 



Make a Donation