Our museums and archives

Displays at the Royal London Hospital Museum

Please note that all public-facing services at Barts Health archives and museums are currently closed to visitors and researchers, in order to protect staff, visitors and volunteers during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

This applies to the Trust Archives and to St Bartholomew's Hospital Museum and the Royal London Hospital Museum.

We hope to be able to welcome visitors and researchers back in 2021, but in the meantime, you can search our collection catalogue online. For more information about restricted access to the archives during the closure period, please click here. For more information about the museums and how you can find out about the history of the historic St Bartholomew's and Royal London hospitals while we are closed, please visit the museum webpages.

Our hospitals have long and important histories, and have cared for the people of London over many centuries. Each has maintained a distinguished medical and nursing tradition throughout their history and claim many eminent physicians and surgeons amongst their past and present alumni and staff. Our archives and museums preserve and make available the collective memories of the Trust’s hospitals, and the wider story of health care and health education in the City and East London.

Barts Health NHS Trust holds archives, which consist of the documents and records that need to be permanently preserved for legal, financial and historical purposes, not just of the hospitals in the current Barts Health Trust, but also of thirty current and former hospitals located in the City and East London and beyond. Although public access is currently not possible, we hope to reopen again in 2021 for access by appointment. Anyone can use the archives, from family and local history researchers to current clinicians and academic historians.

St Bartholomew's Hospital Museum and the Royal London Hospital Museum tell the stories of these renowned institutions, celebrate their achievements and explain their place in history in more detail. They remember the people who have worked at our hospitals and the many thousands of past patients who have been treated and cared for.  

The archives receives regular transfers of records from within the Trust through the corporate records management process, but the archives and museums do accept some donations of material from external organisations or individuals. For more information about what we collect, please refer to our collections development and acquisition policy. Please contact us before sending any records or objects you wish to donate to our collections. Please note that we will not be able to accept donations of records for the archives between the end of August 2020 and the start of January 2021 due to the move of the archive collections from one of our two sites. For more information, please see the archives page. Unsolicited donations sent without contact details of the donor may be disposed of.