The Wellcome Archives
The Wellcome Archives contain:
More details can be found by searching the Archives and Manuscripts catalogue.
Find out more about Henry Wellcome, his business and his collecting activities
The archive of the Wellcome Foundation, the pharmaceutical company established by Sir Henry Wellcome and his business partner Silas Mainville Burroughs, is also held by the Library. The archive dates from 1860 to 1995.
After Henry Wellcome’s death in 1936, the Wellcome Trust remained the sole owner of the company until its flotation on the stock market in the 1980s. In 1995 the Trust sold their remaining interest in the Wellcome Foundation to Glaxo, enabling a takeover and the formation of Glaxo Wellcome plc. The Wellcome Fondation historical records were received back from GlaxoSmithKline plc in 2001.
The company archive contains material of general interest on pharmaceutical and business history, as well as information relating to key personnel and locations in the company's own history. For example:
- The records of the Therapeutic Research Corporation which carried out collaborative work on penicillin during World War II.
- Corporate branding and trademarks, including the famous ‘tabloid’.
- Local history on Wellcome Foundation sites at Dartford, Beckenham and Berkhamstead.
View the full catalogue details of the Wellcome Foundation archives
There are also many books in the Library on the history of Henry Wellcome and his collections. Here is a selection:
- Arnold, K & Olsen, D, Medicine Man: The Forgotten Museum of Henry Wellcome, London: British Museum Press, 2003
- Gould, T, Cures & Curiosities: Inside the Wellcome Library, London: Profile Books, 2007
- James, Robert Rhodes, Henry Wellcome, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1994.
- Larsen, Frances, An Infinity of Things, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
- Poynter, FNL, 'The Wellcome Historical Medical Library', in The Book Collector 4 (1955), p.285-291.
- Symons, HJM, The Wellcome Institute: a short history, London: The Wellcome Trust, 1993.
- Symons, HJM, 'These crafty dealers: Sir Henry Wellcome as a book collector', in Medicine, mortality and the book trade, edited by Robin Myers and Michael Harris, Folkestone: St Paul' Bibliographies, 1998, p.109-130 .