[Humanist] 26.453 the Wellcome Collection

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Nov 4 09:53:02 CET 2012

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 453.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2012 08:27:10 +0000
        From: Phoebe Harkins <p.harkins at WELLCOME.AC.UK>
        Subject: Wellcome Collection and the Wellcome Library are growing

Dear list members,

Wellcome Collection and the Wellcome Library are growing.

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 this year, with over 40,000 visits to the Wellcome Library alone. In
order to cope with unprecedented visitor demand, our building will be
transformed over the coming two years. 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.

Opening up the Reading Room

Central to the project, the Wellcome Library???s Reading Room will become an
innovative public space, bridging the gap between the Library???s research
community and Wellcome Collection???s exhibitions and events programmes and
opening our extraordinarily rich collections to new audiences. The Reading Room
will be an inviting salon where visitors are free to relax, linger and indulge
their curiosity ??? a blend of the very best curatorial and library practice,
in a setting that encourages sociability and the sharing of ideas. This new
space will sit at the heart of the building, curated with events and displays
of books and objects from the collections, alongside state-of-the-art
technology to fully exploit our ambitious digitisation programme.

Enhancing the Research Library

Our Research Library will also be renovated, offering our members an
outstanding environment in which to study and work. With an expanded Rare
Materials Room, a new Viewing Room, and with improved space configuration ???
including new desk spaces and areas for group work, private study, and
conversation ??? the Library will be an inviting and stimulating place that
will cater for the needs of all our audiences. We will continue to provide a
significant proportion of our collections on open access together with greater
access to digital resources, and offer better facilities and easier circulation
via a new internal lift and staircase. We will continue to offer users a quiet
and relaxing working environment in which to enjoy and use our outstanding
collections, fostering understanding of the place of human and animal health in
all periods and cultures.

Elsewhere in Wellcome Collection

The development will open up 30 per cent more gallery space and double our
capacity for public events. A major new thematic gallery will hold in-depth
exhibitions over a year-long period, with a mixture of semi-permanent displays
and exhibits. There will also be a dedicated youth events studio for 14-to-19-
year-olds to engage with and produce work that contributes to the Wellcome
Collection programme. An interdisciplinary research Hub will catalyse research
and public engagement collaborations between the brightest minds across
specialisms, with grants being made available for group residencies. A
Spotlight events series will offer a forum for experts from different
disciplines to come together and debate key topics and policy issues affecting
medicine, science and society. And a new restaurant, in addition to the current
caf?(C), will significantly increase the catering offer within Wellcome

Keeping in touch

Major works on the development will begin in summer 2013, with completion
scheduled for summer 2014. 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 be hosting a series of drop-in sessions where you can come
and see the building plans and hear more about the development project. Details
of these dates will be published on the Library website and blog and be
displayed in the Library on the noticeboard. For more information download our
Q&As (pdf).

Warm regards

Dr Simon Chaplin
Head of the Wellcome Library
183 Euston Road,
London NW1 2BE


The Wellcome Trust is a charity registered in England, no. 210183. Its sole
trustee is The Wellcome Trust Limited, a company registered in England, no.
2711000, whose registered office is at 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK.

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