Library membership

Photograph of a library with rows of free standing books shelves, filled with books. On the end of each row is a large red graphic plant like design and book category information signs. Between the first two rows a young woman is sitting at a table writing in a notebook, spotlit by a small desk lamp. In the distance another person can be seen standing at a bookshelf, back to camera.
Wellcome Library, Photo: Thomas SG Farnetti. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

Closure update

Due to Covid-19 restrictions the library is currently closed, and we are not issuing new library memberships at present. You can continue to search our collections from home, with many items freely available to view online, and we’re still here to answer your questions about the collections by telephone and email.  

Existing library members can continue to access online databases and e-journals remotely. If you’re not a member but need remote access to our resources, please contact us to discuss your research needs:

tel: +44 (0)20 7611 8722

Do I need library membership?

If you want to study in the library and use the books and journals on the shelves, then you can just sign in as a day visitor at the library Admissions Desk on level 2. You only have to join the library if you need to order materials from the library stores or use our online subscription collections.

Membership is free and available to anyone over the age of 18 who needs to use our collections. Membership lasts for five years and allows you to: 

  • order items from the library’s closed stores 
  • enter the Rare Materials Room to use items that you've requested from the stores 
  • log in to the library’s computer network to access subscription collections 
  • use the library scanners and printers for research purposes 
  • book a study room. 

If you are under 18 years of age and studying for an Extended Project Qualification alongside your A-levels, you can apply for a short-term membership of two months.

How to join the library 

To get library membership you'll need to come in person to the library Admissions Desk on level 2 in Wellcome Collection and provide the following:

  • a signed downloadlibrary membership form PDF 46kb, which you can download and complete in advance. Forms are also available at the Admissions Desk 
  • two forms of identification: a personal ID and a proof of address. Acceptable forms of identification are listed below. 
  • If you're under 18 and studying for an Extended Project Qualification you'll also need a letter from your School outlining what you'd like to research

Once these are checked we'll give you a library membership card, for which we'll need to take your photo. You’ll also need to confirm that you have read and agree to abide by the library’s conditions of use and computer use policy. 

 You can request items from the library stores before your first visit to the library, so that they are ready to use as soon as you've completed your membership. Email or phone us with your requests or pre-register online to be able to request items via the library catalogue.

You will still need to complete the full registration procedure on your first visit to the library in order to obtain a library card. 

Personal ID and proof of address

In order to become a member of the library you will need to show a form of personal identification (ID) and proof of address on your first visit. We accept any combination of the following:

Personal identification (ID)

  • UK or international driving licence with your photograph and/or signature
  • International identity card with your photograph and your residential address
  • Full passport
  • UK credit card or debit card with your signature
  • Official photo identity card from a recognised place of work or study

Proof of address

  • UK or international driving licence with your photograph and/or signature and your residential address
  • International identity card with your photograph and your residential address
  • Council tax statement or payment book (paper or digital)
  • Recent utility bill - gas, electricity, water or telephone (paper or digital)
  • Recent bank or credit card statement (paper or digital)

Get in touch

Library enquiries+44 (0)20 7611 8722