Our new (temporary) home!

The entrance to the City of Westminster Archives Centre

Following the sale of Belgravia House, and the decision to vacate the premises by the end of March 2022, the Archives and Library teams at RCVS Knowledge have had a busy few months safely moving all the Library, Archive and artwork collections into secure storage, and to our new temporary office at the City of Westminster Archives Centre. (We shared photos and videos from the moving process on our Instagram feed, under the hashtag #vethistoryrelocation )

Although many RCVS and RCVS Knowledge staff are able to continue working from home, or at office space rented in Chancery Lane, in order to run our Archive and Library service effectively, an additional more specialist space was required.

Shelves of our most frequently used journals

We were very fortunate in finding accommodation for us, and our priority collections, not too far from Belgravia House at the City of Westminster Archives Centre. Stretching over 150 linear metres of shelving, we’ve brought with us our most frequently used books and journals, and key archive documents such as Council Minutes, Rolls of Members, examination records, and correspondence.

Shelves of RCVS Council Minutes, Rolls of Members and other frequently used archive items

Here at COWAC, the archive store is to the highest standard for preserving our fragile and unique documents. We also have use of the searchroom, which can accommodate more readers than previously possible in Belgravia House, from Tuesdays to Thursdays 10am to 4pm.

The public searchroom at the City of Westminster Archives Centre

As some of our collections are held offsite in storage, we require advance notice ahead of any researchers planning to visit. To find out more about how to get to COWAC, and the treasures in their own collections, visit their website here: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/leisure-libraries-and-community/westminster-archives

In the near future, the Vet History team plan to search the COWAC collections for records that shed light on the veterinary practitioners working in and around Westminster over the centuries. We’ll share any highlights with you here!

As always, you can search our collections via the Archive and Library catalogues, or view digitised content on the Digital Collections website. If you would like to view any of our material in the searchroom, or have research questions, please contact us via email archives@rcvsknowledge.org