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The library

The Library at Wellcome Collection, Ben Gilbert. © Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Our library’s collections cover thousands of years of health and medicine across different cultures. 

The library provides a calm and quiet atmosphere, with lots of desk space for individual study and research.

Our collections contain historical and contemporary books, artworks, archives and manuscripts exploring our personal and cultural relationships with health and medicine. 

Welcoming you back from 7 October

In order to use the library you will need to book a free ticket. For now, only current library members will be able to visit. We aren’t accepting new applications for library membership; however, we are able to extend memberships that expired in 2020.

We’ve made some changes to make your visit as safe and enjoyable as possible. For example, we’ll be placing all requested materials and books on open shelves into a 72-hour quarantine after use. Find out more about how we’re keeping you safe.

Things you need to know for your first visit to the library 

Because we have many rare and unique items in our collections that need protection, there are some things you can’t bring into the library. 

Everything you need for your research and study – phones, laptops, pens, papers and books – should be carried either in your arms or in a clear plastic bag. 

Everything else – including outdoor coats, bags and laptop cases larger than a piece of A4 paper, umbrellas and all food and drink, including bottled water – should be left in the free lockers on level 0.

We provide water fountains with paper cups in the library, but water should not be taken to desks or collection areas.

The library is on level 2 of Wellcome Collection. 

Where to get help 

Our staff at the Admissions Desk, just outside the library gates, can give you general information about the library.

If you’re looking for more advice on where to start with your research, you can ask the staff inside the library. 

Get in touch

Library enquiries+44 (0)20 7611 8722

Opening hours

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday Closed
  • Thursday Closed
  • Friday Closed
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed