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The Reading Room

Photograph of a stone staircase with a red carpet down the centre, leading up to an upper gallery which overlooks the ground floor. Copper light shades hang from the ceiling. Downstairs are exhibition display cases and tables and upstairs there are library bookshelves.
The Reading Room, Benjamin Gilbert. Source: Wellcome Collection. CC BY.

The Reading Room on level 2 of Wellcome Collection is a spectacular hybrid of library and museum, suitable for all ages and interests.

There’s an array of books and objects grouped around themes, including travel, pain, food and the body. You can perform digital autopsies on an interactive forensics table, discover amulets and charms from all over the world, send a postcard to a friend, or unroll a replica of an alchemical scroll.

On the shelves you will find over 1,000 different titles, featuring fiction, memoirs, graphic novels, magazines and even pop-up books.

Sofas and beanbags give you a place to read and relax, or to sit and discuss the books and objects with friends. If you’re looking for a place to study or read quietly, head through to the Library

Events in the Reading Room

There’s a regular programme of events, including book groups, workshops and performances, so listen out for announcements or ask staff about what’s on. If you have an idea for an event you can propose it through the Open Platform. You can hire the space out of hours for private events too.

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 24 August 10:00—18:00
  • Sunday 25 August 10:00—18:00
  • Monday 26 August 10:00—18:00