Wellcome Library

The Wellcome Trust is a global charity with billions of pounds at its disposal. As well as funding vast amounts of medical research, Sir Henry Wellcome envisioned a place where people could come to learn about the many wonders of medicine and its history. The Wellcome Collection provides a fantastic space for this public engagement, housing a café, bookshop, exhibition galleries and a library.

Image via Flickr user Maggie Jones.

A small group of trainees were met and taken upstairs by Amelia, a friendly member of staff from the library. Having been impressed by visits to previous exhibitions at the Wellcome Collection many times before, I wasn’t surprised to encounter a fantastic library facility. With a vast number of reading rooms and an extensive collection ranging from biology and the usual sciences to magic and the occult, the library has plenty to keep your mind occupied; and membership is open to everyone. There are beautiful paintings hanging on the walls, whilst the shelves, desks and facilities are all brand new. In addition to the many books available on the shelves there is a large reserve collection including moving image material and special collections are able to be viewed in an allocated room in the depths of the library.

After being shown around the entire library we spent some time looking at the library website, hearing about Wellcome’s extensive digitisation project. We also had a look at a special project called ‘Wellcome Images’ which contains a vast array of images on things ranging from diseases to tattoo designs. You can access it by clicking here. At the end of the tour, my enthusiasm for the Wellcome Collection only increased and I certainly look forward to my next visit.

Joe (IALS)

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