Royal College of Surgeons and Natural History Museum forge new research and skills sharing partnership

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) and the Natural History Museum (NHM) are pleased to announce that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for co-operation between the two organisations around research and skills sharing. The MoU will initially run until 2023, covering the period of the RCS’s major building re-development, Project Transform, and will include the Hunterian Museum and the RCS Anatomy and Pathology collection.

The MoU builds on an agreement for the NHM to provide temporary storage of some of the RCS Museums’ Designated collections during the building programme. Researchers will be able to access most of the RCS collections stored at the NHM. For further information please see the RCS Museums’ web pages.

Andrew Reed, RCS Chief Executive said:

“We are delighted that the Natural History Museum has agreed to store some of the RCS’s wonderful museum collections during the period of building redevelopment at the RCS’s London base. What is equally important is that we will be establishing a framework of co-operation based around research and skills sharing which will benefit the internationally significant collections in the care of both institutions.

We are looking forward to developing the longstanding historical relationship between the NHM and the RCS.”

For further information and updates on access arrangements please visit: RCS Museums’ web pages.

Professor Ian Owens, Director of Science at the NHM said:

“We are very pleased to launch a new phase of collaboration between the RCS and the NHM.  We look forward to closer co-operation on research and skills and to benefits in access for the many scientists undertaking research on the invaluable collections of both institutions.  We welcome the opportunity to explore and develop a strong relationship during this period for continuing co-operation in years to come.”

The RCS library, museums and archives collections reflect the history and development of British surgery, including dental surgery, and the surgical profession. They tell the story of surgical development and the profession’s endeavours to improve procedures and patient safety – from the first use of antiseptic in the operating theatre to the birth of minimally invasive keyhole surgery. Many of the items in RCS’s collections are rare or unique and were awarded Designated status by Arts Council England in 1999 and 2013.

The Natural History Museum is a national museum and non-departmental government body, sponsored by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. The Museum’s mission is to challenge the way people think about the natural world – its past, present and future. It aims to stimulate public debate about humanity’s future and equip its audiences at every level with an understanding of science. In pursuit of this mission the NHM maintains and develops a collection of around 80 million items for the purpose of scientific research and public benefit.

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