As time progresses and formats become obsolete, viewing and preserving sensitive 8 and 16mm films becomes increasingly difficult. This is why RACS has decided to digitise its historically significant film collection.

Films in the collection which is currently housed in the RACS Archive include:

  • Plastic Surgery procedures from the Heidelberg Military Hospital in the 1940s (collection of Sir Benjamin Rank)
  • Anaesthesia films made in the 1940s - it should be noted that RACS had a Faculty of Anaesthetists until ANZCA was formed in 1992.
  • Films about Ophthalmology - one of the earliest specialties at RACS but the specialty transferred to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists in 1969.
  • General interest films such as the aftermath of the West Gate Bridge Disaster, 1970 and the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State, 1950
  • Films relating to RACS, specifically a film about the combined meeting of RACS with the RACP and College of Surgeons and Physicians of Canada, Sydney, 1980

A selection of seven of the digitised films are now available on the RACS website (Members only - login required).

Please note that may contain disturbing images of surgical procedures. RACS believes that all parties have consented to be in these films and the majority are out of copyright. If you have additional information about the people portrayed, the context of the films or any other concerns, please contact the RACS Archivist, Email college.archives@surgeons.org or Ph +61 3 92491270.

This material is not for public distribution.