The Library can be exceptionally busy between April-June. We will do our best to accommodate everyone, but we may need to turn away day visitors if all study spaces are full.
Wellcome Library is closed from 29 April-1 May 2017. We will re-open on 2 May at 10.00.
The library at Wellcome Collection
More search options
Women modelling spectacles of unusual shapes. Photograph.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London
Searching by subject is an easy way to find material in the Library collections, by browsing a list of suggested subject terms. Read more about how it works.
Searching by subject is a good way to:
Search by subject covers everything in the Library collections that has been categorised using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).This includes:
Search by subject will produce an alphabetical list of subject terms from your keyword search. Selecting one of the subject terms in the list will run an automated search across All Catalogues for that subject term.
Subject headings are a form of controlled vocabulary that brings related resources together. The MeSH and LCSH subject headings are selected from lists maintained by the National Library of Medicine and the Library of Congress in the USA.
In the Wellcome Library, they are used in specific ways:
Both use American spelling and vocabulary. You can use both in subject searches on the Library catalogues.
Some of the Library's older material is not indexed by MeSH or LCSH subjects at all and will not be found using this search. We recommend doing a word search using the All Catalogues search if you are looking for books published before the mid-19th century or Asian manuscripts.
Find out about our different search tools
Find archival materials by topic