The Heritage and History Committee was created following a visit to the hospital by the Honourable the Minister of Health, Ms Jennifer Cashmore, who agreed to allocate funds ($20,000) to assist in the establishment of an RAH Archive and Museum Centre.
Subsequently the Board of Directors responded to a recommendation from its Planning and Development Committee in 1980 that an RAH Heritage and History Committee be appointed with the following membership:
Mr R L Hooper, Chairman
Mr C G Rankin
Dr R C Angove
Dr J Estcourt Hughes
Dr B Nicholson
Miss I M Kennedy
The committee had its first meeting as the RAH Heritage Committee on 23 March 1981 and defined its objectives as
- the discovery and registration of objects, pictures and other memorabilia of historical significance
- the storage and subsequent display of select material in areas of the RAH.
The committee oversees the Heritage Office is the executive arm of the committee. It curates collections of historical material; dating from the foundation of the original hospital, broadly classified as archives and equipment. The memorabilia of the nurses of the now closed Hutt Street private hospital are also kept by the RAH Heritage Office.
The committee has adopted a policy of discrete displays rather than a static museum presentation, utilising display cabinets located around the RAH and selections of framed photographs.
It has evolved an ongoing programme of written and oral histories.
There is a collection of printed material relating to individual persons, be they connected with Royal Adelaide Hospital, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, South Australian Dental Service, Hansen Centre, Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre or Glenside.