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Image: a hospital in Palestine. Lantern slide, Church Missionary Society collections, ref. CMS 33/43

The descriptions below link to online catalogues and in some cases to very detailed descriptions of individual files or photographs. Do also check Cambridge Digital Library to see if they have been digitised.


These include:


These include:


From the RCS Gallery:




  • There are many individual photographs in the Royal Commonwealth Society collections depicting nurses, hospitals and health care, including many within the Church Missionary Society (CMS) collections. Glass slides in the CMS collection have been digitised and may be viewed here.  If you select the Contents tab, you can browse the collection by caption.  You can also search across all our archive catalogues on Janus by selecting Advance search, restricting your search to Cambridge University Library: Royal Commonwealth Society collections and adding nurse as a search term.

Digitised images

These may be viewed in the RCS Gallery and on Cambridge Digital Library:


For guidance searching for items in the Royal Commonwealth Society collections, please refer first to the RCS web pages, in particular:

For guidance in searching for official publications within the RCS collections, see:


The Royal Commonwealth Society Library is not actively collecting new archival collections, photographs or manuscripts. However, donations of small collections which complement its existing collections will be considered.

Potential donors should contact the Smuts Librarian with details of their collection including, in the case of photograph collections, approximately how many images, whether or not they are captioned, geographical regions covered, dates, and, where known, the names of photographers or collectors.

Consideration will be given to the size and condition of the collection, as well as its subject content and provenance. If the Library feels unable to accept a collection, advice about alternative repositories will be given.

Contact us

Please address enquiries about RCS holdings to:

Rachel Rowe, Smuts Librarian for South Asian and Commonwealth Studies
Cambridge University Library
West Road


Please note the Librarian is part-time and usually works at the University Library on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Rachel may be reached by phone on Wednesdays and Thursdays on +44(0)1223 333146, but it is preferable to email details of your enquiry.

If your enquiry concerns a valuation, please note that we are unable to provide valuations.  We recommend you contact a specialist antiquarian bookseller or auction house.