BMA Library and Archives
The BMA Library primarily holds clinical material, such as medical textbooks and journals. It doesn’t hold biographical resources on doctors and we don’t keep historical membership records. Members of the public can buy a reader’s ticket to use the BMA Library for reference only.
Find out more about the BMA Library
The BMA Archives hold a set of the Dictionary of National Biography and almost complete sets of the Medical Register and Medical Directory. Staff can sometimes undertake research for visitors or you can access the search room by prior appointment.
Contact the BMA Archives team
Royal College of General Practitioners
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has produced a guide to tracing a medical ancestor, searching overseas sources, medical school records and university rolls.
Read the RCGP’s guide
The Wellcome Trust has a library and information service open to the public and its guide on researching a historical doctor lists library resources that may be helpful for your family history research.
Read the Wellcome Trust’s guide
The National Archives contain over a million probate records (wills) from 1384-1858. The archive includes medal index cards for the first world war (including the Royal Army Medical Corps) and the second world war. Fees are charged for some searches and the supply of documents.
Find out more about the National Archives
The royal colleges of medicine often hold archived membership and fellowship rolls. If you know the area of medicine a particular doctor specialised in, you could approach the relevant royal college. A list of the different colleges can be found on the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges website.
Find a medical royal college on the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges website
Medical schools and universities
Many medical schools and universities maintain an alumni service, which can help former students to stay in touch. This may be one way you could trace a medical student or a doctor who you have lost contact with.