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The Research 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 is free to visit and open to everyone over the age of 18, whether you’re using the collections for research or just curious to find out more.  

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

The library provides a calm and quiet atmosphere, with lots of desk space for individual study and research, and a gallery where you can work collaboratively with friends and colleagues. 

The library is on level 2 of Wellcome Collection. Ask our staff at the level 2 Admissions Desk for more information.  

Using the library 

To use our library you’ll need one of these.

  • A free day-visitor pass is best for one-off research and study, or to browse our books and journals. 
  • Library membership is better if you're doing longer-term research using our collections, especially if you need to use items from our stores.  

Temporary library membership is available if you are under 18 and studying for an Extended Project Qualification related to our collections. Please bring a referral letter from your school or college. 

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 cloakroom on the ground floor. There are also a few storage lockers just outside the entrance to the library on level 2. 

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

Where to get help 

Our staff at the Admissions Desk, just outside the library gates, can give you general information about the library and advise you on whether a day-visitor pass or library membership is best for your needs. 

If you’re looking for more advice on where to start with your research, our staff at the library Enquiry Desk, just inside the gates, will point you in the right direction. 

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