Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Museum & Archives

The RPA Museum & Archives are located in the heritage-listed operating theatres of the King George V Building, directly across the street from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. RPAH is one of Australia's largest and oldest public hospitals. In 2007 it celebrated 125 years of service.

Unique domed ceiling of the heritage-listed KGV theatres
  • Midwifery teaching aid
  • Medications and potions
  • Both Iron Lung
  • Samples of nurses' uniforms


The collection features many significant items related to the history of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney from the attempted assassination of Prince Alfred in 1868 to present. We have a large collection of nursing memorablia including the original nursing registers, uniforms, photographs, badges, teaching aids and personal items. We also have a large collection of surgical and medical instruments. The Archive collection contains patient registers to 1906, minute books, annual reports, photographs, personal papers, operation registers and RPA publications. We also have a small but interesting library which includes textbooks related to nursing and medical education from the 1860s to the 1970s.

Some of the most significant items in the collection are the gold probe which was used to locate the bullet in Prince Alfred in 1868 and the mallet used to lay the foundation stone of the hospital in 1876. We also have a letter written by Florence Nightingale to a RPA nurse as well as copies of Florence Nightingale's books. There are many war-related badges and items in the collection including a diary written by an army nurse at Galipoli in April 1915.

We are busily working to make the collection available online to CAN users.