RCS Digital Exhibitions

Welcome to SurgiCat+

This is the home for online exhibitions from the Library of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Here we showcase some of the visual and historic treasures from our collections.

Getting started

Click on the image below to visit our first exhibition. You can click on the individual item panels in the exhibition to view them in their own window and use the arrow icons (/), or the left/right arrow keys on your keyboard to move between them. ClickTap on images to see them at full size. If you need help, click the question mark () link at the top right of each pagetap the help link in the main menu.

Our Latest Exhibition

Medicinae Plantae: healing plants through time

Healing plants were once at the core of medical teaching and Doctors and Surgeons were required to be medical herbalists alongside their other practical skills. This exhibition concentrates on works that represent the most famous and rare of the Library's botanical herbals and evokes the passion, exploration and dedication of the medical botanists that documented these plants in gardens and in the wild and ultimately used them to help patients. The Library of the Royal College of Surgeons has an outstanding collection of early herbals and botanical books. Most of these are donations from surgical fellows who studied botany or had a personal interest in plants and natural history. Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows includes many such surgeons, for example: Joseph Lister, pioneer in antiseptic surgery, who was second in the list of candidates obtaining honours in Botany, according to his University of London certificates dated 14th August 1845.

This half-term we have muffin-baking, leaf-printing and two plant cures for you to try making in our healing plants activity sheet (PDF).