London, NW1 2BE
The Wellcome Collection explores medicine in the context of the wider world, and the adjoining Wellcome Library is a major resource for the study of medical history.
Wellcome Collection is the free museum and library for the incurably curious. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life and art.
Through exhibitions, live programming, and digital and publishing activity, it makes thought-provoking content which aims to challenge how we think and feel about health.
As well as a world-famous library, and a delightful café, restaurant and shop, there is also a place called the Reading Room – a retreat from the bustle outside where visitors can browse, play games, read and connect with new ideas and new people.
10% off in café
Valid to 31 December 2019
Enjoy 10% off in the café with your National Art Pass
The museum’s permanent exhibitions – Medicine Man and Medicine Now – include fascinating objects, from Napoleon’s toothbrush to Florence Nightingale’s moccasins to Darwin’s walking stick, and its changing exhibition programme covers a range of exciting topics.
The Collection includes more than 100,000 prints, drawings, paintings, and photographs, dating from the 14th century to the present.
In addition to the library's main Medical Collection, resources include the Asian collection, comprising some 12,000 manuscripts and 4,000 printed books in 43 different languages, and the rare books collection, holding around 60,000 pre-1851 volumes covering aspects of medical science and practice.
Art we’ve helped buy at Wellcome Collection
In 2011 the Art Fund helped the Library to acquire a portrait drawing of the French surgeon Ange-Bernard Imbert-Delonnes (1747-1818) by Pierre Chasselat.
The drawing is unusual in that in addition to more conventional features of a portrait, the minutely detailed interior includes on the right a gruesome souvenir of Imbert Delonnes's proudest achievement: a gigantic testicular tumour (sarcocele) which, in a controversial operation, he removed from Charles-François Delacroix, the French foreign minister.
The drawing in black chalk is signed by the artist and dated 'L'an 8' ('year 8' in the French Revolutionary calendar, meaning 1799-1800).