We visited Wellcome Library at Eusten Road, London today in the morning at 11:00 AM. Ella Mitchell and another colleague from UEL Library aslo joined us at Wellcome Library. Mr. Danny Rees from Wellcome Library received us at the entrance.
Wellcome Library is one of the world’s major resources for the study of medical history and offer a growing collection of material relating to contemporary medicine and biomedical science in society. The Library was founded on the collections of Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853-1936) who was a pharmaceutical salesman and later started his own business. He bequeathed the bulk of his estate, including ownership of his pharmaceutical company and his collections, to a body of trustees, who formed the Wellcome Trust after his death in 1936. Fascinated by the “art and science of healing throughout the ages”, Henry Wellcome collected books and objects on a colossal scale: by the time of his death, his collection of around 1.5 million items. The library has around 2.5 items presently in its collection.
Mr. Danny took us around the library and explained some of the ongoing online projects like Europe PubMedCentral: an open access repository of resources for biomedical and health researchers and UK Web Archive project. He said that since 2010 the Library been engaged in a large scale digitisation programme that reflects its commitment to global access to its collections. The library has different collections like Archives and Manuscripts, History of Medicine, Medical Collection, Art Collection, Asian Collection, Moving Image and Sound Collection, Biomedical Images, and Medicine and Society Collection.
We also visited their Digital Library section where they are developing a world-class online resource for the history of medicine by digitising a substantial proportion of its holdings and making the content freely available on the web. They use Kaiser RePro book scanners for the digitisation and Goobi Intrande Edition software for managing scanned digital objects. Mr. Danny told us that over time we plan to digitise key holdings linked to the Wellcome Trust’s research challenge areas. Ms. Gillian Bowl showed us the preservation and archiving processes in the library. All archives and manuscripts are held in closed stores. In order to view items in the Library, one need to make an online request through the catalogue. There is a separate Rare Materials Room in the library to refer the archival materials.
Photos of the visit to Welcome Library are available at Photo Gallery