Royal Women's Hospital Archives, Melbourne

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Royal Women's Hospital Archives, Melbourne

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Previously known as Tracy Maund Historical Collection, Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne


Contact area


Manager, Health Information Services



Street address

321 Cardigan Street, Carlton Postal address: Locked Bag 300, Parkville, Victoria 3052





Country name

Postal code



03 8345 3905; 03 8345 2626




Description area


The Royal Women’s Hospital specialises in areas such as antenatal care, maternal and neonatal infection control, gynaecological disease diagnosis and treatment, family planning, newborn intensive care and infertility management.

Its beginnings were as a ‘charity’ hospital, serving the needs of women unable to afford private medical care. Known as the Lying-in Hospital, it opened in 1856, the second hospital in Melbourne (the first being Melbourne Hospital). It was first located in a leased terrace house in Albert Street, Eastern Hill (East Melbourne), close to where the Victorian Parliament now stands.

The hospital’s establishment was led by a committee of women, led by Mrs Frances Perry, the wife of the then Anglican bishop of Melbourne, and two doctors, Dr Richard Tracy and Dr John Maund.

In 1884, its title was simplified to the Women’s Hospital and the ‘Royal’ title was conferred on the hospital by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 6 September 1954.

After moves to and in Carlton in the nineteenth century, the hospital moved to its present site in Parkville in 2008.
For further information about the history of the hospital see:

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Officer in charge: Archivist

Records management and collecting policies



The records in the Women's archival collection include scanned and reproduced records of patients who were treated at the hospital more than 100 years ago.

Information about women’s health through the 19th and 20th centuries can be drawn from, for example:

  • Midwifery books, 1856-1858
  • Honorary physician case books, 1878-1910
  • Labour ward case books and registers,1888-1982


Note that most 19th and early 20th century patient records are not indexed and still exist only in their original bound volumes, which makes it very difficult to find a specific patient’s record unless specific admission dates are known.

Birth records are comparatively easy to find, if birth dates are known.

Finding aids, guides and publications

Background information about hospital staff, board members and benefactors is available at:

A biographical compendium of people associated with the hospital is available as a PDF on the website at:

Access area

Opening times

Open by appointment only.

Access conditions and requirements


Services area

Research services

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 28 February 2024




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Medicine and Health (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

321 Cardigan Street, Carlton
Postal address: Locked Bag 300, Parkville, Victoria 3052
Melbourne, Victoria 3053