When Wellcome Collection opened in 2007, we anticipated attracting around 100,000 visits each year. This figure has increased year-on-year to almost half a million in 2012. In order to cope with unprecedented visitor demand, Wellcome Collection will be transformed throughout 2013-14. Our spaces will be redefined, bringing new areas into public use, while building on the unique qualities that have made Wellcome Collection and the Wellcome Library such a success.
Central to the project, the Library’s Reading Room will become an innovative public space: half library, half exhibition. It will be a curated space with events, displays of books and objects from the collections, and state-of-the-art technology to fully exploit our ambitious digitisation programme.
The Research Library will do everything the current Library does, including offering a quiet and relaxing working environment. Renovations will result in:
- an expanded Rare Materials Room
- a new Viewing Room
- a new internal lift between the second and third floors
- improved space configuration, including new desk spaces and areas for group work, private study and conversation.
We will continue to provide a significant proportion of our collections on open access in addition to greater access to digital resources.
Major works on the development will begin in summer 2013, with completion scheduled for summer 2014. From 8 August to March 2014, the Library will be closed on Mondays. Our Tuesday-Saturday opening hours will remain unchanged for now. Occasionally there may be times when an area of the Library is closed off. It is possible that there will be short periods when we move stock around or do work on the Rare Materials Room, but we are trying to avoid this.
Find out more
We will keep Library users informed throughout the project, alerting you to key dates throughout the build. If you are planning on visiting the Library during summer 2013, please contact us and we can keep you updated on projected dates for building works, and access to the various collections. We will also publish updates on this website, the Library blog, Twitter and Facebook.
You can also find out more about what is happening throughout the building on the Wellcome Collection website.