London, Wellcome Collection
Biographical dates - Period of existence1936 -
Other InformationThe Library was founded on the collections of Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853-1936). His main interest was focused on the history of medicine, including ancillary subjects such as alchemy, witchcraft, anthropology and ethnography.
The Library was housed in a series of locations around London. As it grew, a succession of professional librarians was appointed during the 1920s and 1930s. It was not open to the public, although individual scholars were able to gain access on request. Significant collections acquired during this early period include: the library of J F Payne, medical historian and Librarian of the Royal College of Physicians, purchased in 1911; over 100 items from the Kurt Wolff collection of incunabula, sold at auction in 1926 and the major part of the library of the Munich historian Ernst Darmstaedter, bought in 1930.
In 1945 the Library was moved into the Wellcome Building on Euston Road, where it took over one of the rooms originally designed as a museum space. Readers began to be admitted by arrangement. In 1949 it was formally opened to the public as the Wellcome Historical Medical Library. The Library was extensively refurbished in 1962, and the main galleried Reading Room took the shape it retains today.
(Created by Valentina Eberle, 24 June 2019)
MARC Area Codee-uk
Profession / Type of InstitutionLibrary
Last Edit2019-07-24 12:16:42