Skip to navigation Skip to content

The Library

The RSM is home to one of the largest and most up-to-date medical libraries in Europe.

Library - statue close up

Library opening hours 

Monday – Thursday: 9am – 9pm (In August and December the Library is open 9am – 7pm)
Friday: 9am – 5.30pm
Saturday: 10am – 4.30pm

24-hour opening

The 1st floor and the IT suite are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Using the Library

Clinical-key access on iPad

Online resources

Access our online resource of e-books, e-journals, six medical databases, including ClinicalKey resources.

Search the e-resources
Library - close up of books

Borrow and renew

RSM members can borrow up to eight books and journals at any one time. 

Borrow and renew
Library - ballot box

Archive collection

Dating back 200 years, the Library houses rich and varied archive collection, offering a fascinating insight into the history of the medical profession. 

Archive collection

Latest exhibition

Committed Exhibition

Committed: Madness in 19th century England

13 May – 27 July 2019

Take a closer look at the history of asylums and madhouses in 19th century England and the physicians who worked at these institutions. Featuring illustrations, portraits and records from various hospitals including Bethlem Hospital, the exhibition provides a chance to see works held in the Library collection.

The exhibition also offers the unique opportunity to view the rarely-shown Hugh Welch Diamond photographs. Dr Hugh Welch Diamond studied psychiatry at London’s Bethlem Hospital – where we get the word ‘bedlam’ – and from 1848 to 1858, used photography to document the facial expressions of patients suffering from mental disorders at the Surrey County Lunatic Asylum where he was Superintendent of the Female Department.

Often on loan to museums and galleries around the world, this is a great opportunity to see part of the Diamond collection at the RSM.

Library services

Document Delivery

Document delivery

Our document delivery service is an easy and convenient way to gain access to chapters from books, journals and articles held in the Library collection. 

Find out more
Library - staff working

Literature searches

Use the skills and expertise of our librarians to carry out literature searches on your behalf, including biomedical and scientific databases. 

Find out more
Library - IT training suite

Information skills workshops and tutorials

Book a training course to help improve your information skills and database searching.

Find out more
Library - study groups

Hire a room

If you’re looking for a space to hold a meeting or a place to study, the Library has several rooms available for hire, including interactive workspaces.

Find out more
Library - statue close up

Become a Friend of the Library

Become a Friend of the Library and help fund the conservation and preservation of our historic medical collection.

Find out more
Opening of RSM 1912

Our history

Learn how the RSM, established in 1805 in the back two rooms of a barristers’ chambers at Gray’s Inn, grew from humble beginnings to take up residence in London’s medical quarter.

History of the RSM

Become a Library member

Library membership is open to everyone and offers the chance to browse and borrow from our collection for reference purposes and make use of our library working spaces. Everyone who is a full member of the Royal Society of Medicine automatically gains access to the Library, including our online resources.

Individual Library

For members of the public who want to join the Library and access its services. 


Library Corporate

Open to companies and healthcare organisations looking to provide staff with access to the Library collection and resources.

Library Corporate

Library Pass

Buy a temporary library pass to 'drop in' and use the Library for reference purpose only. Weekly and monthly passes available.

Buy a Library pass
Skip to top