Become a member of the Wellcome Library by applying for a five-year Library Card. Membership is free.

The Wellcome Library is free and open to anyone interested in the history of health and medicine. You can become a member by applying for a five-year Library Card.

If you want to visit the Library for the day, without access to services, you may do so by signing the visitors' book. 

Becoming a member

On your first visit to the Library:

  To save time, you can download a copy of the application form [PDF 72.8KB] and complete it in advance of your visit. Remember to bring it with you when you come.

Children and young adults

Children under 16 are admitted only by exception and must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Young adults (16-17 year olds) who are working on a specific project requiring the use of our collections can gain access by supplying:

  • a referral letter from their school or college
  • a photo ID and
  • a proof of address.
Renewing or updating your membership

Are you an existing Library member who needs to renew or update your membership? Please contact us to make changes to your membership. You do not need to pre-register online as you already have a Library account.

Requesting materials before your first visit

To save time you may wish to request material from stores (books, archives, manuscripts, pictures etc.) before your first visit.

If you do not already have a Library card, you can Pre-register online. Pre-registration gives you an interim login before you become a member of the Library, so that you can request store materials from the catalogues.

When you visit the Library in person you can get Library membership by showing two forms of ID and agreeing to our conditions of use.

To pre-register, complete the online registration form.


Forms of personal identification and address

We will ask to see two forms of identification when you join:

  1. a photo ID
  2. proof of address.

We accept these forms of ID:

Personal identification Address
Full passport UK, overseas or international driving licence (provided it shows your address)
UK cheque guarantee card, credit card or debit card (provided it shows your photograph and/or signature) Council tax statement or payment book
UK, overseas or international driving licence (provided it shows your photograph and/or signature)Recent utility bill (gas, telephone or water bill)
Official identification card from a recognised place of work or study (provided it includes a photograph and the name of your organisation/university, etc.)Recent bank statement or credit card statement

State pension book


Benefit/family credit book

We will take your photograph using a Library camera and give you a photo ID card. You will need this to visit the Library and to access our online services, including ordering and printing.

Care of library cards

Library Cards remain the property of the Library at all times. You need to bring your Card with you each time you visit the Library.

Please inform us if you:

  • change your address (so that we can update your user record)
  • lose your Card (so that it can be cancelled and a new one issued)
  • forget your Card (you will need to apply for a day visitor's pass to gain access to the collections).