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The 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.

The Reading Room is a calm and welcoming space on level 2 of Wellcome Collection.

You’re very welcome to read, work, meet friends or just relax. It’s open to everyone; you don’t have to be a member of the library, a researcher or a student.

There’s free wifi, plenty of desk space and comfy chairs and sofas. It’s an ideal place to study, work or have a meeting. And of course, to read.

You can’t eat or drink in the Reading Room.

Read, relax, get inspired

There are over 1,000 books and other objects from Wellcome Collection on display. Our books cover a wide range of subjects around medicine and medical history.

Some of the unusual items around the room include glass sculptures of bacteria and viruses, death masks and life masks, Japanese outsider art and a gas-powered arm prosthesis from 1963.

Although it's usually a good place to read and relax, the Reading Room can get busy, especially around exam times.

Special events

Although the Reading Room is often a place for peace and quiet, we often have events here. These include poetry readings, plays and talks. Some you can find in What's On, while others are pop-up events.

If you’d like to have your event here, you can pitch the idea to our Open Platform series. You can also hire the Reading Room.

Opening hours

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 10:00—18:00
  • Wednesday 10:00—18:00
  • Thursday 10:00—21:00
  • Friday 10:00—18:00
  • Saturday 10:00—18:00
  • Sunday 10:00—18:00

Bank holiday hours

  • Saturday 4 May 10:00—18:00
  • Sunday 5 May 10:00—18:00
  • Monday 6 May 10:00—18:00