Current local: Jan. 16, 2019, 4:54 a.m.

The Wellcome Library

(formerly part of The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine)

As of 1 October 2000, The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine has been dissolved; the name is no longer to be used. In its place are the [Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine] (a.k.a Wellcome Library) and the [Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL].

The Wellcome Library,
183 Euston Road,
London NW1 2BE, UK.
Library catalogue:
Available by telnet to [] (very fast service for experienced users) or
on the WWW at []
A web page for the Wellcome Library is available at [].
+44 20 7611 8545
+44 20 7611 8888 (Library enquiries: +44 20 7611 8582)

Brief introduction

The Wellcome Library is a department within the [Wellcome Trust], a registered charity which funds research in medicine and medical history.

Formerly, the Wellcome Trust owned a pharmaceuticals company called The Wellcome Foundation, or Wellcome plc., but the Trust sold the company several years ago, and it was subsequently acquired by the Glaxo company. The new conglomerate was renamed Glaxo-Wellcome.

The Wellcome Trust itself is no longer directly connected with any industry. The Wellcome Trust is now solely a charitable funding body. Its income is derived from a portfolio of general investments.

The Wellcome Library (emphasis on South Asia)

The Wellcome Library originated as the private collections of [Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome] (d. 1936), and has since grown to have holdings of about half a million books, as well as substantial collectsions of manuscripts, paintings, etc., in all languages, but including much Asian material. The Library has a [web page] which includes some [information on the South Asian collections].

The Library has approximately six thousand Sanskrit manuscripts or more, and substantial holdings of Hindi, Gujarati, Panjabi, and other South Asian language manuscripts. There are also supporting collections of printed materials, some of them rare, such as the collection of Sanskrit lithographs, and nineteenth-century ayurvedic texts. The Wellcome Library has always taken a broad view of what constitutes medical history, and the Sanskrit and other Indic materials cover a wide range of subjects, being particularly rich in ayurveda, jyotihsastra, Jainism, tantra, and stotra. Catalogues and other finding aids for the Wellcome Library's Asian collections have been and continue to be published.

Microfilms of some Sanskrit manuscripts can be ordered by email (see the [title list and ordering information]), and some Wellcome Sanskrit manuscripts have been digitized and [made available for web browsing].

The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL

The former Wellcome Institute's Academic Unit which was also a sub-department of University College, London University has now been transferred formally and fully to UCL. The Centre teaches courses in the history and philosophy of medicine at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and has doctoral and postdoctoral students and fellows. More information about the Centre members is available at []. The Centre's web site is [].

Last modified: Mon Dec 19 10:41:03 2011

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