Reading Room

Photograph from the gallery level in the Reading Room looking down into the exhibition space below. There is a group of eight people sitting on a carpet engaged in an activity involving strips of paper containing typed words.
Unexpected Interludes in the Reading Room, Thomas SG Farnetti. CC BY-NC.

Drop in to our innovative hybrid of gallery, library and events space to find new inspiration, spark connections and leave feeling thoroughly reinvigorated.

Our Reading Room on level 2 has over a thousand books and 100 objects available to browse and discover – including contemporary sculptures, paintings, medical artefacts and manuscripts.

Completely open to the public during gallery hours, it's an open invitation to dig a little deeper into what it means to be human.

Explore 10 different sections – Alchemy, Food, Travel, Body, Breath, Face, Pain, Mind, Lives and Faith – each of which has a different collection of objects, fiction, non-fiction and interactive activities.

Settle down with a book on a comfy sofa, contemplate life or strike up a conversation.

You may even chance upon a Reading Room event. Be it a poetry reading and discussion, a drawing activity, or time spent with an expert speaker, these informal events for small groups can provide an unexpected interlude during the day. You can find out what's happening this week on the noticeboard at the entrance.