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The Wellcome Collection @ The Wellcome Building, Euston Road, London | © David Samuel / WikiCommons
The Wellcome Collection @ The Wellcome Building, Euston Road, London | © David Samuel / WikiCommons

The History Of The Wellcome Collection In 1 Minute

Picture of Stephanie Butler
Updated: 19 March 2016
Self-proclaimed as ‘the free destination for the incurably curious’, the Wellcome Collection is an awe-inspiring museum of art and artefacts, which explore the relationships between medicine, art and life in the past, present and future. Situated on Euston Road next door to the Wellcome Trust headquarters, the museum was founded in 2007 and sees over 500,000 people passing through the door each year.


The founder of the Wellcome Trust was the pharmacist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and collector, Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome. Captivated with medicine and inspired by the world he frequently explored, he initiated world-class medical research laboratories and began to build one of the world’s most astonishing collections of medicine and health through history. His ambition was to construct a venue to contain his magnificent collections, for professional education and study, in order to develop knowledge of medical science. His legacy, the Wellcome Trust, is an independent global charitable foundation. Both one of the largest charities in the UK and one of the largest research charities in the world, the Trust funds bright minds in scientific education, research and public engagement. Successful projects that have been funded by the trust include the development of the antimalarial drug Artemisinin, and the establishment of the UK Biobank. Their aim is to improve health, ‘because good health makes life better.’

Wellcome Collection | © Dmitry Dzhus / Flickr | © Geek Calendar / Flickr | © Paul Downey / Flickr

Left: © Dmitry Dzhus / Flickr | Top Right: © Geek Calendar / Flickr | Bottom right: © Paul Downey / Flickr

The architecture of the building has a neoclassical design, housing both historic and contemporary exhibitions and collections, public events, the Wellcome Library, a café, a shop, a restaurant and conference facilities. The venue also offers many in-house publications, tours, international and digital projects, and the famous Book Prize.

The Wellcome Library consists of more than 750,000 books, journals, manuscripts and films, offering anyone interested extensive information about medicine and its significance in society. For an unusual and eccentric mixture of medical art and artefacts, the Wellcome Collection is an original and thought-provoking museum to inspire all.


📅  Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10AM – 6PM (Thursday close at 10PM)


By Stephanie Butler