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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. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

Visit the Reading Room to join one of our regular conversations or events, or just hang out and find inspiration browsing the array of books, artworks and objects on offer.

You can get involved in our regular programme of events in the Reading Room, including:

  • book groups
  • art workshops
  • small discussions
  • performances.

 Activities are led by a variety of independent artists, writers and performers, as well as Wellcome Collection staff with knowledge of our collections.

There are loads of books and objects for you to discover, grouped in different themes around the room, including travel, pain, food and the body. 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 sit and discuss the books and objects with friends or just to relax.

Or you can have a go at something more hands-on, like unrolling a replica alchemical scroll or performing a digital autopsy on an interactive forensics table.  

If you have an idea for an event in the Reading Room, you can propose it through the Open Platform.

 You can also hire the Reading Room for your own private events out of hours.

Opening hours

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