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Our extensive online library catalogue is available via Library Search on the Knowledge Network. The catalogue includes listings of our modern and historical books, journals, pamphlets and reference material. Library Search also lets you browse and request books from NHS Scotland libraries.

I am the Honorary Librarian of the College, a role which I love, because we have such a rich heritage and inspiring past and present Members and Fellows. It is important that we recognise and celebrate this.

Morven McElroy

Searching our Collections

Library Search on the Knowledge Network incorporates all the book, journal and reference collections of NHS Scotland, its partner organisations and our own library. You can make requests for books from any of these libraries but if you just want to see books held within our library here's how:

  • On the main search box type in the title, author or keyword you are interested in and click search
  • On the results page use the library filter on the left hand side of the screen to filter by "Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow". You'll now only see books held in this library. You'll need to apply this filter every time you carry out a new search.

Borrowing books

If you would like to borrow any of our books or those of our partner NHS Scotland libraries you must be a member of the College. You will also need to apply for library membership. Please contact for more information.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the library to make use of our books - please contact to book an appointment. Our unique collections may be of interest to members of the public who are interested in:

  • History of medicine
  • Genealogy
  • Health and social policy
  • Medical education
  • History of Glasgow

Help and advice

You’ll find help and advice on how to find, borrow, and place requests for books on the Knowledge Network website. You can also contact our Library team by clicking on the button below:

Our Books

The College library houses over 30,000 volumes of work covering all aspects of medicine, health and surgery. The latest textbooks and revision guides sit alongside key medical texts dating from the 15th century to the present day. Due to our close connections with the city of Glasgow, we have also built up a collection of books relating to the city and its surrounding areas.

Although constantly being updated, the online catalogue represents only a fraction of the books held by the College, so if you cannot find the work you are looking for please contact us.

Modern Clinical Collection

Our modern clinical collection reflects our diverse membership covering topics in medicine, surgery, dentistry and travel medicine. We hold copies of many of the latest medical textbooks, career guides, books on health law and also have a comprehensive selection of revision guides for our examination candidates.

Rare Book Collection

This collection dates from the 15th century and includes many fine examples of some of the most important medical and surgical texts of the past 500 years. It is particularly strong in the areas of anatomy, medicine, surgery, botany and materia medica in the 18th and 19th centuries.

History of Medicine Collection

A comprehensive collection of books dealing with the history of medicine both nationally and internationally. This collection also includes biographies and autobiographies of those associated with health and medicine.

History of Dentistry Collection

This is a new addition to the College library and one which we are looking to expand. The collection aims to represents a broad overview of the advancement of dentistry through the ages.

The Glasgow Collection

Through the generous support of the Baillie's Institution, the College library is building up a comprehensive collection of books relating to Glasgow and Scotland. The collection dates from 1736 right up to the present day and is an invaluable resource for historians.

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