They include a diverse collection of material documenting the history of RACS and the development of surgical practice. Records come from a variety of sources and include documents such as personal papers, photographs and associated memorabilia.
Although material had been collected by various interested parties since the College's inception, the archives were established in the 1960s with the appointment of Julian Ormond (Orm) Smith as the first Honorary Archivist.
The main repository for the archive is at RACS Headquarters in Melbourne.
Unveiling the Collections
Unveiling the Collections begins with the archetypal symbol of the College, the Great Mace. It continues with an exploration of a diverse group of objects loosely bound together by type and is divided into ten sections.
As the College approaches its centenary in 2027, it is important to reflect on its rich history. Although consisting of inanimate objects, the College collections help show how that history evolved. Most of the objects have interesting stories connected to them and they contribute to the complex web of relationships that have created a 21st century surgical College.
To order Unveiling the Collections, please send a completed order form (DOCX 424.75KB) to the RACS Archivist.
Reference and Research Services
Upon request, RACS is able to provide reference and research services to Fellows, Trainees and members of the public. Please include relevant information about your enquiry. Fellows of RACS are welcome to visit the archives during opening hours. Others can visit the archives by appointment. Applications to view records less than 30 years old will be assessed on a case to case basis.
Archives staff can conduct biographical research about deceased Fellows of RACS but in accordance with privacy legislation, information about extant Fellows will not be provided without permission. Some biographical information can also be viewed via the In Memoriam page on the website.
Telephone: 61 3 9249 1270
Facsimile: 61 3 9249 1219
The Archivist is available 8.30am- 4.30pm, Monday to Thursday.