As with many charities at this time the RCP has been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in severely reduced income streams. To mitigate this situation, we are carrying out a thorough efficiency drive looking at all expenditure including on workforce.
Included in this process is the potential sale of parts of our historic collection that are not closely linked with our core charitable purpose of improving health for all.
Commenting on this, Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians said: "In common with many other medical charities we are facing financial challenges because of COVID-19 and are having to look at many ways in which we can ensure that we emerge from the pandemic in a strong position to continue our education, training and work to improve patient care and health as we were set up to do over 500 years ago.
"It's true that we have been looking at the possible sale of some books from our historic collection, but we are only at the start of this process and no decisions have been taken. We are working with our museums team and an options appraisal on the sale of books is being developed for discussion in the first instance by our internal committees. We had some books valued by an auctioneers to inform this process but that doesn't mean these titles would necessarily be included in any sale.
"No firm decision has been taken about which books, if any, will be sold. If we decide to go ahead we will, of course, consult the Arts Council as well as taking account of the views of all those who share our pride in the Royal College of Physicians' long history and the collections it is privileged to hold.
“We will continue to be open and transparent about this process as decisions are made.”