The Wellcome Library was founded on the collections of Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853-1936). Born in Almond, Wisconsin, Wellcome became a pharmaceutical salesman and moved to London in 1878 at the encouragement of Silas Burroughs. He and Burroughs became partners and created the firm Burroughs Wellcome. The business flourished and Wellcome became the sole owner after Burroughs's death in 1895.
After the death of Burroughs, much of Wellcome’s energy was directed towards developing his collections. His main interest was focused on the history of medicine, including ancillary subjects such as alchemy, witchcraft, anthropology and ethnography.
He began collecting books seriously in the late 1890s, and artefacts shortly after. He used a succession of agents to amass materials at auction rooms, through dealers, and by travelling around the world to buy whatever could be found. He was obsessive about secrecy in the dealings of his agents, and insisted on a series of pseudonyms and subterfuges to conceal the true identity of his buyers from the trade.
During our visit, we are taken on a tour of this fascinating museum and library. Location: London NW1 2BE (Just to confirm that it is in London)
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