Soon after its inception the RACP received gifts of books from the Royal College of Physicians of London (RCP) and other institutions and individuals, and the core of a library was established. By the end of the first decade the library had subscribed to most of the leading medical journals and the book collection was growing through purchases, donations and bequests.
Books of classical or historical interest were also purchased. In 1954 the RCP donated a set of books published between 1500 and 1900. They consolidated the historical part of the collection and set the pattern for the future role of the library as a history of medicine collection, with its policies to be directed by a library committee. In 1982 it was officially named the History of Medicine Library.
In 1989 the library catalogue became part of the Libraries Australia online network and interlibrary loan service.
The Library has been created and guided by Fellows of the College. Today a 14 member Library Committee advises on the direction of the collection and promotes medical history as a specialist area of study.