Mission statement

The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Archives documents and promotes the history, culture and unique identity of the hospital. The role of the Archives is to provide a place for the continuing preservation of the hospital’s heritage, actively collect new items, and connect the community with the history of the RCH through access to the collection. It does this through using recognised archival principles of identification, classification, storage, retrieval and display, as well as creating a publicly accessible collection and offering support to a wide range of business, research, community and educational activities. The Archives is committed to making its collection and associated documentation available for public access, while acknowledging the constraints that may arise from legal, privacy or ethical concerns.

Accessing the archives and collections

Physical access to the Archives by external enquirers is currently unavailable. We do welcome reference/research requests via email or mail. Provision of information is determined in accordance with government legislation and guidelines, including the Victorian Public Records Act 1973, Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic), Health Records Act 2000 (Vic) and Copyright Act 1968. Some records may be closed to the public.

Please note we do not hold medical records; see RCH Health Information Services on how to access medical records.

Images reproduced or displayed must acknowledge the source as “Courtesy of The Royal Children’s Hospital”. Please see the RCH Archives Access Request form below for the full list of access conditions.

If you would like to submit a request please fill in and submit the RCH Archives Access Request form.

We endeavour to respond to your request in two – three weeks from form submission.

What items do we hold?

The RCH archives and collections holds a combination of documents, images, and objects that span the history of the hospital.
Our major holdings and highlights include:

  • Administrative and departmental records
  • Annual reports
  • RCH publications
  • Staff personal papers
  • Training materials
  • Photographs (professional and personal collections)
  • Films
  • Oral histories
  • Staff uniforms and badges
  • Artworks
  • Instruments and equipment
  • Memorabilia

In 2011, and again in 2015-16, selections of highly significant items were transferred to the Public Records Office Victoria (PROV). These items remain available for research, subject to conditions outlined by PROV.

Donating to the archive

Donations to the collection from past and present staff, students and patients are welcome. The archives will acquire material spanning the history of The Royal Children’s Hospital from 1870 to the present.

Please read our Criteria for Acquisition Guidelines before downloading and submitting the RCH Archives Collection Offer form. The Royal Children’s Hospital cannot accept unsolicited donations; please do not send material without contacting us prior.

Statement of good faith

The Royal Children’s Hospital is dedicated to safely and lawfully sharing content online including but not restricted to images, text and audio. Like many other cultural institutions such as archives, museums and libraries we are caretakers to a collection of content which contains various copyright holders.

Read the full RCH Statement of Good Faith.

Medical records

We do not hold patient records. Please visit the Freedom of Information page or Telephone: +61 3 9345 5156 or +61 3 9345 5132 to request medical records.

Contacting the archive


Telephone +61 3 9345 5112
Email archives@rch.org.au