The focus of the Wellcome Library is medical history, but, medical history being part of social history, the scope of the Library is wide ranging and includes almost every area of human endeavour including anthropology, ethnography, natural history, topography, and travel. It includes extensive collections of printed books, manuscripts (oriental and western), archives, paintings, prints, drawings, photographs and moving-image films. It also includes an information service relating to contemporary biomedical science.The Library preserves a book stock of over 600,000 volumes of which some 66,000 date from before 1851 with over 600 incunabula and extensive collections of books in oriental scripts. The library holds several thousand western manuscripts dating from mediaeval times to the 19th century with some 600 collections of archival papers. The iconographic collections comprise over 100,000 prints, drawings, photographs, films and paintings. The Wellcome Library is particularly strong in oriental manuscripts ranging from pharaonic Egypt to the 19th century in all the major languages and in many minor languages of Asia in number c. 12,000. Material relevant to Asian studies may be found in almost all the library's collections of books manuscripts, archives and iconographic materials.For further information see :- "Pearls of the Orient : Asian Treasures from the Wellcome Library" edited by Nigel Allan. London & Chicago : Serindia Publications, 2003.
History & development
The Wellcome Library is based on the collections of Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936), the American pharmacist and philanthropist, and is supported by the Wellcome Trust. Until October 2000 it formed part of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, but since then, the teaching and research side of the now dissolved Wellcome Institute has been formed into the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London.
The Wellcome Library is a research library, available to the public free of charge. It is an international resource for researchers and students in medical history and, in its wider context, of social history in all cultures, periods and languages in both primary and secondary sources.
Subjects and Material
East Asia, Near & Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, South East Asia.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, The Philippines, Tibet, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Yemen.
Languages of material
Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Batak (Indonesia), Bengali, Braj, Burmese, Chinese, Coptic, Dutch, Egyptian (Ancient), English, French, Geez, Georgian, German, Greek, Modern (1453-), Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Konkani, Korean, Lao, Latvian, Malay, Malayalam, Manchu, Marathi, Mongolian, Newari, Oriya, Pali, Panjabi, Persian, Prakrit languages, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Spanish, Syriac, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Turkish, Turkish, Ottoman (1500-1928), Urdu, Uzbek, Yiddish.
Agriculture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Arts, Communication and media, Development, Economics, Education, Environmental sciences, Geography, History, Human rights, Industries, International relations, Language, Law, Literature, Medicine, Music, Philosophy, Politics and government, Recreation, Religion, Science and technology, Sociology, Travel, Women.
Languages as linguistic focus
Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Modern (1453-), Hindi, Japanese, Pali, Panjabi, Persian, Prakrit languages, Sanskrit, Sinhalese, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan.
Archival materials (includes non-published & mixed material), Audio materials (includes cassettes & CDs), Books, Manuscripts, Official publications, Serials, Theses, Visual materials (includes photographs, prints, drawings, videos & films).