Valerye Oglesby

Valerye Oglesby

Published: 19 Sep 2023


The Wellcome Collection, located in London, is a unique museum that explores the connections between medicine, art, and life. With a diverse range of exhibits and an innovative approach to showcasing the history of medicine, the Wellcome Collection has gained recognition as one of the most intriguing cultural destinations in the city. While many people may be familiar with the museum, there are several surprising facts that add an extra layer of fascination to this captivating institution. From its origins as a pharmaceutical company to its thought-provoking exhibitions, the Wellcome Collection offers visitors a truly immersive and enlightening experience. In this article, we will uncover nine surprising facts about the Wellcome Collection that will deepen your understanding and appreciation of this remarkable institution.

Table of Contents

The Wellcome Collection boasts over 1.5 million items

Yes, you read that right! This vast collection includes medical artifacts, historical objects, artworks, and rare books. From ancient surgical instruments to fascinating anatomical models, the Wellcome Collection houses an extensive array of treasures that shed light on the evolution of medicine and our quest to understand the human body.

It was founded by Sir Henry Wellcome

Sir Henry Wellcome, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur and philanthropist, established the Wellcome Collection in His vision was to create a space where people could explore the history and future of medicine, fostering a deeper understanding of human health and well-being.

The Wellcome Collection is not just a museum

While the Wellcome Collection is primarily known as a museum, it offers much more than traditional exhibitions. It also serves as a library, research center, and forum for public engagement. These additional dimensions provide a dynamic and interactive experience for visitors, encouraging them to delve deeper into the subjects explored within the collection.

It features thought-provoking temporary exhibitions

Besides its permanent collection, the Wellcome Collection hosts a series of thought-provoking temporary exhibitions that tackle a wide range of topics related to health, medicine, and society. These exhibitions often challenge societal norms and question our perceptions of the human body, raising important discussions around issues such as mental health, disability, and medical ethics.

The Wellcome Collection is home to intriguing curiosities

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Wellcome Collection is its display of curiosities. These peculiar objects captivate visitors with their uniqueness and serve as a reflection of the wide-ranging interests of Sir Henry Wellcome. From shrunken heads to historical talismans, these curiosities offer an unconventional glimpse into the diverse world of medicine and its cultural significance.

It embraces interdisciplinary collaborations

The Wellcome Collection believes in the power of interdisciplinary collaborations. By partnering with artists, scientists, and researchers, it creates innovative and immersive exhibitions that bridge the gap between art and science. This approach not only deepens our understanding of medical history but also encourages creative thinking and perspectives.

The Wellcome Collection hosts engaging events

Continuing its commitment to public engagement, the Wellcome Collection hosts a range of fascinating events throughout the year. These events include talks, discussions, workshops, and performances that explore a wide array of topics related to medicine, science, and culture. Visitors have the opportunity to interact with experts, artists, and thought leaders, enriching their experience and sparking new ideas.

It offers free admission

Great news for all enthusiasts of knowledge and culture! The Wellcome Collection offers free admission to its permanent and temporary exhibitions, enabling everyone to access the wealth of information and experiences it has to offer. This commitment to accessibility and inclusivity ensures that these valuable resources are available to all, fostering a greater understanding of medicine and its impact on society.

The Wellcome Collection is a digital hub

In addition to its physical space, the Wellcome Collection has established a strong online presence. Its website acts as a digital hub, providing access to a vast range of resources, including online exhibitions, articles, and interactive content. This enables individuals from around the world to explore the fascinating world of medicine and engage with the collection’s wealth of knowledge.

In conclusion, the Wellcome Collection stands as a remarkable institution that pushes the boundaries of traditional museums. Through its vast collection, thought-provoking exhibitions, engaging events, and commitment to accessibility, it offers a truly immersive and enriching experience for all who visit. It serves as a testament to the ever-evolving nature of medicine and reminds us of the vital role it plays in shaping our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.


The Wellcome Collection is a truly remarkable institution that offers a unique blend of art, medicine, and history. With its extensive collection, thought-provoking exhibitions, and innovative programs, it has established itself as a leader in promoting dialogue and understanding about the human condition.Through the nine surprising facts discussed in this article, we have discovered the fascinating aspects of the Wellcome Collection. From its origins as a personal collection to its emphasis on challenging societal norms, the collection continues to push boundaries and inspire visitors.Whether you’re a fan of medical history, art, or simply curious about the intricacies of the human experience, the Wellcome Collection is a must-visit destination. It offers a wealth of knowledge and a truly engaging experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the wonders of the human body and the world of scientific discovery.So, the next time you find yourself in London, make sure to pay a visit to the Wellcome Collection. Prepare to be surprised, enlightened, and captivated by all that it has to offer.


1. What is the Wellcome Collection?

The Wellcome Collection is a museum and library in London that explores the connections between medicine, art, and life. It houses a vast collection of objects, artworks, and manuscripts related to health and well-being.

2. Are there any entrance fees?

No, the Wellcome Collection is free to visit. However, some special exhibitions may have an admission fee.

3. Can I take photographs inside the museum?

Photography is generally allowed in the permanent exhibitions, but not in special exhibitions. Flash photography and the use of tripods are prohibited.

4. Are there guided tours available?

Yes, the Wellcome Collection offers free guided tours. Check their website or inquire at the reception for the tour schedule.

5. Is there a café or restaurant in the museum?

Yes, the Wellcome Collection has a café on the ground floor where you can enjoy a selection of food and beverages.

6. Can I bring my children to the Wellcome Collection?

Absolutely! The museum has a range of activities and interactive exhibits suitable for children of all ages. There is also a designated play area for younger children.

7. Is the museum accessible to people with disabilities?

Yes, the Wellcome Collection is fully accessible with wheelchair ramps, elevators, and accessible toilets. They also provide sensory resources for visitors with visual impairments.

8. Can I purchase souvenirs at the Wellcome Collection?

Yes, there is a museum shop where you can find a wide range of unique gifts, books, and souvenirs related to the collection.

9. How do I get to the Wellcome Collection?

The museum is located at 183 Euston Road, London, and is easily accessible by public transportation. The nearest tube stations are Euston, Euston Square, and Warren Street.