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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.

You’ll need Library membership if you want to request material from the Library stores or use any of our online services. If you want to use the Library for personal study, you can just sign in as a day visitor.

Becoming a member

On your first visit to the Library:

To save time, you can download a copy of the application form [PDF 50KB] and complete it in advance of your visit. We'll ask you to choose your username and provide an email address so you can use Library services online.

Day visitors

If you want to use the Library for the day, you can sign in as a day visitor at the Library Admissions Desk. Day visitors have access to the Library wifi and all the material on the Library shelves.

We have a limited number of desks available for silent private study, but during busy times we have to give priority to Library members consulting the collections.

Under 18 years of age

Library membership is available for people over 18 years of age. However, students under 18 who are studying for an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) that requires the use of the Library collections may apply for a temporary (two month) Library Card. You will need to bring the following to join the Library:

  • a referral letter from their school or college that states the chosen EPQ topic
  • a photo ID and
  • a proof of address.

Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

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 the 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 apply for 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
International Identity cards (provided it includes a photograph and details of your residential address)

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 (speak to the staff at the Library reception desk).