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Wellcome Library

183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE
United Kingdom
Dr. Simon Chaplin, Head of Library
+44 (0)207 611 7244
44 (0)207 611 8722
Fax: +44 (0)207 611 8369

Founded c.1895 on the collections of Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936) and formally opened to the public in 1949, the Library exists to support researchers with an interest in the history of medicine and science and allied subjects. Internationally, the Library is one of the leading resources in its field. Collecting policy is broadly interpreted, and the Library includes material of value as much to social and cultural historians as to those with a purely medical interest. The Library’s main strengths are in the history of medicine, aspects of contemporary biomedical science, including genetics and the human genome, public understanding of science, science policy, and biomedical ethics. SERVICES: Photocopying; photography; interlibrary loan; written, e-mail, phone and fax inquiries. Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sundays and bank holiday weekends. New readers will need to show evidence of idenity and proof of permanent address.


C. 700,000 monographs, including c. 66,000 pre-1851 printed books; over 600 incunables, and c. 5,000 16th century books; subscriptions to over 800 historical and biomedical journals. Extensive collections of archives (ca. 600 collections) and manuscripts, including the papers of Edward Jenner, Florence Nightingale, Lord Lister, Melanie Klein, Francis Crick, as well as the records of numerous organisations and bodies involved in medical science and health care; over 12,000 Oriental manuscripts in 43 languages. The visual resources collections house over 100,000 prints, drawings, paintings, and moving films, which date from the Middle Ages to the present and geographically from Japan and China to Europe and the Americas, with smaller collections from Africa and the Antipodes. In addition, the collections include over 160,000 photographs of medical and social history; 17,000 photos of modern clinical medicine and biomedical sciences, films, videos, TV programs, CD ROMS, and audio-tapes. Publications: Medical History (quarterly); Catalogue of Printed Books: Books Printed before 1641 (Vol. 1); Books Printed from 1641 to 1850 (Vol. 2: A-E), (Vol. 3: F-L), (Vol. 4: M-R). (VOL. 5: S-Z). Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science (2 vols.), Moorat, S.A.J.; Catalogue of Western Manuscripts: Western Manuscripts 5120-6244, Palmer, Richard. Other Publications: a full publications list, with prices, is available on request. The list is also accessible via the Library’s web site.

Subject Strengths:
History of Genetics; History of Medicine
Last Updated:
20 Apr 2010