Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Antiquarian Books

The general collection of antiquarian books comprises of thousands of volumes on surgery, medicine and allied topics. Works by Irish surgeons and doctors, especially those associated with RCSI over the course of its two hundred plus years existence, form the basis of the collection.

Authorship and ownership by RCSI people of these works are a great source of richness and excitement. The canons of Vesalius and Avicenna and the odd rare item, such as Gilborne's Medical Review (1775) are also in the collection. 

When these works become available newly-catalogued retrieval and connections never before made will emerge. This will transform the collection into a fresh source of historical research on Irish surgery and those associated with it.

The Wheeler-Butcher Collection


                   Sir William Ireland de Courcey Wheeler (1879-1943)                        Richard Butcher (1819-1891)

                    Sir William Wheeler                       Richard Butcher 

William Ireland de Courcey Wheeler (1844-1899) and his son Sir William Ireland de Courcey Wheeler (1879-1943) both became presidents of RCSI in 1884 and 1922 respectively. Richard Georger Herbert Butcher (1819-1891) was a Fellow of the College and was elected its president in 1866. Butcher was a contemporary and colleague of William senior.   

In May 1944 the executors of the late Sir William offered to RCSI the bequest of Sir William's medical books, sets of Butcher's articles and case books together with a large bookcase belonging to the late Butcher. The emphasis of these combined collections is on late nineteenth and early twentieth century surgery. They illustrate the pioneering work of Irish surgeons who found themselves participants in local and world events in history. These three surgeons feature in history and in history yet to be written.


The Doolin Collection 

                   William Doolin (1897-1962)

                    William Doolin 

William Doolin (1897-1962) obtained his FRCSI in 1912 and was elected president of the College in 1938. Doolin's collection of books became the property of the RCSI after his death in 1962. The 300 books in the collection are biographies and histories of medicine, institutions and hospitals. The collection is of great value for research work in the history of medicine and of Irish medical institutions.