About the Heritage Centre

We preserve, protect and promote RCPI’s collections relating to the history of medicine and medical education in Ireland. These include thousands of books, archives, photographs, artworksmedical instruments and other unique items dating from the foundation of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 1654. 


We work to:

  • carefully catalogue and preserve our collections relating to the history of RCPI, medicine and medical education in Ireland

  • promote awareness of Ireland's rich medical history

  • grow our collections thanks to generous donations

  • make the College's unique collections accessible to the public


In July 2018 we received full accreditation under the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland. This award recognises our dedication to caring for our collections to the highest standards, and in line with best practice nationally. 

Visit Us

From Tuesday 1st February we will be re-opening to researchers. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we have had to make some changes to how we provide access to our collections.

  • Appointments will be available on Tuesday and Thursday from 10.00am to 12.00pm and from 2.00pm to 4.00pm.
  • Appointments must be booked a week in advance.
  • All researchers will be required to wear a mask while in No 6 Kildare Street, unless medically exempt from doing so.
  • Pencils will no longer be provided, please make sure you bring everything you need with you.
  • Desks and touch points will be cleaned before and after every researcher.

To book an appointment please email heritagecentre@rcpi.ie with your preferred day and time to visit, and with details of the items you would like to see.

Family History Research

Is there an Irish doctor in your family tree? If you are interested in family history research you’re welcome to make an appointment to access our collections in the research room. If you can’t make it in person, we also offer a paid genealogy research service 


Exhibitions and Events

We offer guided tours of our beautiful home on Kildare Street, subject to the availability of the building. The building is also open to the public annually for Heritage Week and Culture Night. Please contact us for more details 

We curate changing exhibition on topics relating to the history of medicine in Ireland. Visit our exhibitions page to find out about current and past exhibitions 

Use of our images

To promote open access to our collections, images of material belonging to the College can be used under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons licence. This means you can share our images for non-commercial purposed as long as you credit the College.  If you would like to use one of our images for commercial purposes, then you need to contact us for permission. We offer a paid digital imaging service, and you can also bring your own digital camera to take images.  

Please contact us for more information on procedures and pricing. 

Harriet Wheelock

Keeper of Collections

Tel: +353 1 669 8817

Harriet is Keeper of Collection and manages the RCPI Heritage Centre. Contact Harriet with any questions about the Heritage Centre, its collection and to make an appointment to visit.

Professor Brendan Kelly

Dun's Librarian

Prof Brendan Kelly Dun's Librarian and a Fellow of the College. Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Psychiatrist at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin. As well as his medical qualifications Prof holds a PhD in the history of medicine, and has published extensively on the history of psychiatry, including Hearing Voices: The History of Psychiatry in Ireland (Irish Academic Press, 2016), Custody, Care and Criminality: Forensic Psychiatry and Law in 19th-Century Ireland (History Press Ireland, 2014), Ada English: Patriot and Psychiatrist (Irish Academic Press, 2014) and "He Lost Himself Completely": Shell Shock and its Treatment at Dublin's Richmond War Hospital (1916-19) (Liffey Press, 2014). As Dun's Librarian Prof Kelly has oversight of the Heritage Centre and is chair of the RCPI Library and Heritage Committee.