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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

The RCPsych libraryThe 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 discipline 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 drunkenness 


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.


How to adopt a book

You can adopt a book by getting in touch with the College Archivist, Francis Maunze who can be found in the Library Office (ground floor) or you can contact him on telephone: 020 3701 2539, email:


What do you get?  

A bookplate with your details will be placed in the book that you adopt. Bookplates can either carry the name of a donor or be dedicated to another person, perhaps in their memory or to mark a special occasion such as retirement. (See the designs here).




Restored Books

College Archives- restored books











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 at the following address:


Royal College of Psychiatrists, 21 Prescot St, London

E1 8BB Tel: 020 7235 2351 x 2539  Direct Line: 020 3701 2539 



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