Summer Sites: The Royal College of Nursing Library and Heritage Centre

summersites

The Royal College of Nursing Library and Heritage Centre

Royal College of Nursing facade
Image of The Royal College of Nursing buidling by David Hawgood. CC BY-SA 2.0

The Royal College of Nursing’s major London site is located in a smart Georgian building in Mayfair. Members of the public can use the space, consult books and print journals, and access the internet using the free WiFi access. They can also use the computers and printing facilities. The College’s archives and special collections are also available by prior arrangement. Members of the College have full access to on-line journals and a dedicated mezzanine member’s area as well as book borrowing rights.

Image of RCN Library seating and journals area
RCN Library seating in the journals area

In addition to these services, the College houses exhibitions reflecting its important collections concerning the history of nursing. They also hold interesting events ranging from lectures to musical performances. There is also a shop and a cafe. For more details visit the website.

Near to the Royal College of Nursing Library and Heritage Centre:

Drawing room in the Wallace Collection
Drawing room in the Wallace Collection

A short walk away in Manchester Square you can find the Wallace Collection. Located in  historic Hertford House it contains paintings, decorative art and an armoury in a series of beautifully decorated rooms. The collection includes many world famous paintings such as Franz Hals’ ‘Laughing Cavalier’. Admittance is free and it is open seven days a week. The Photographers Gallery in Ramillies Street has fine exhibitions of contemporary photography. On a less cultural note you are very close to the shops of Oxford Street, Regent Street and Carnaby Street.

A sandwich and a cup of coffee?

The Workshop Coffee Company in Barnett Street serves a good flat white. On Wigmore Street is a branch of Comptoir Libanais which is a good place for light Middle Eastern snacks and mint teas. The Wallace Collection has a stylish restaurant in a glass atrium which serves afternoon tea and is worth a visit. Alternatively, the restaurants and cafes of Soho are a short walk away.

Royal College of Nursing Library and Heritage Centre
20 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0RN
(Henrietta Place entrance)
Tel: 0345 337 3368
Website link

Don’t forget– if you cannot make it in to St George’s Library over the summer, there are still many resources that you can access from a computer with internet access (logins may be required). See more information about our online resources.

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Summer Sites: The Wellcome Collection

summersites

The Wellcome Collection

Situated  close to Euston Rail Station and just behind University College Hospital the Wellcome Collection is a hub for research, education and study into Medical and Health Sciences.

The_Wellcome_Building
Facade of the Wellcome Building

The library is loacted within the same building and it is open to all: you simply need to bring personal ID, proof of address and a completed application form (this can be downloaded from the Library homepage at: http://wellcomelibrary.org/using-the-library/joining-the-library/) to the library to join.

Facilities include WiFi, printing, copying and access to online collections of journals and databases. There are also study rooms which can be booked in advance. For further information and opening times see their website.

napbrush
‘Napoleon’s toothbrush’: on display in the ‘Medicine Man’ exhibition.

The Wellcome collection is particularly famous for its exhibitions, which are always imaginatively curated and cover a wide range of interesting topics. These are free of charge and can be very popular with the general public so you may have to obtain a timed ticket at peak times such as weekends. There are two permanent exhibitions: ‘Medicine Man’ displays a series of fascinating objects collected by Henry Wellcome including Napoleon’s toothbrush and George III’s hair. The ‘Medicine Now’ exhibition covers more modern medical topics such as genomes.

There is a good shop on the ground floor selling a wide range of books on popular science and historical subjects. It also has an entertaining range of gifts including cuddly bacteria and syringe ballpoint pens.

Near to the Wellcome Collection

petrie museum
Archeological objects in the Petrie Museum.

The area around the Wellcome Collection is London’s university district and is particularly rich in museums. The Grant Museum of Zoology with its historical collection of specimens gives you the chance to look at the skeletons of lost species such as the Dodo and the Quagga (a now extinct form of zebra). Also nearby is the Petrie Museum which contains an amazing 80,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts, the most interesting of which are on display.  Also close by is one of the most famous museums in the world: The British Museum.

British_Museum_Dome
Entrance hall of the British Museum.


A sandwich and a cup of coffee?

speedy's
Speedy’s cafe in Gower Street.

There is a large airy cafe on the ground floor of the Wellcome Collection although it can get crowded. Fans of the television programme ‘Sherlock’ can follow in his footsteps and grab a cup of tea and a sandwich in Speedy’s cafe just down the road in Gower Street. The best coffee nearby however, is to be found in Tinderbox which is on the first floor of the Tottenham Court Road branch of Paperchase.  If all that museum visiting has made you thirsty and you are a real ale/craft beer fan the Euston Tap and Cider Tap now quirkily occupy the small stone buildings on either side of the entrance to Euston station. For the ravenous there is a branch of Brixton stalwart, Franco Manca Pizza, on Tottenham Court Road.

euston tap
The Euston Tap real ale house outside Euston Station.

Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE
Tel: 020 7611 2222
wellcomecollection.org/

Don’t forget– if you cannot make it in to St George’s Library over the summer, there are still many resources that you can access from a computer with internet access (logins may be required). See more information about our online resources.

Summer Sites: The British Library

summersites

The British Library

British Library complex

Probably the most famous library in the UK, the British Library is located in King’s Cross and has the largest collection in the world. Naturally, this includes a significant number of resources concerning medical and healthcare subjects. The Library can get crowded so is not really suitable as study space, however if you are undertaking research or need to consult books on specific topics it is a very useful resource. There is a reading room dedicated to medical and life sciences on the 2nd floor and there are also subject specialists you can contact to help you with your search. To obtain a reader pass you will need to present photographic ID and proof of address, details can be found on the Library homepage: http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/inrrooms/stp/register/stpregister.html

Interior of the British Library

The British Library complex includes a conference centre and exhibition space with a gift shop. The exhibitions at the Library are temporary but have become well known for being imaginatively presented and cover a wide range of topics relating to objects in the collection. The exhibitions are not free but the student concession is generous, usually making tickets available for half the face value. The current exhibition celebrating the signing of the Magna Carta is excellent.

The Foundling Museum

 

Near the British Library

There are two interesting small museums just a short walk from the Library. One is the Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square. The Museum is well worth a visit, especially for anyone who is interested in the history of the care and social welfare of children. Apart from the often poignant displays it is a beautiful building in itself crammed with paintings and art. Not far from the Foundling Museum is the The Charles Dickens Museum, located in the writer’s London home on Doughty Street and a must see for anyone who likes the novelist’s work. Both museums charge modest admission prices but there are concessionary rates for students.

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Interior of Dicken’s dining room at The Charles Dickens Museum

 

A sandwich and a cup of coffee?

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The concourse of St Pancras Station is lined with cafes and shops

 

The remarkable St Pancras Station is virtually next door to the Library and contains a range of places to eat and drink. Of particular interest to bookworms is the cafe in the Hatchard’s book shop which sells drinks and cakes. Next door is a mini version of Fortnums and Masons including a small restaurant serving meals and afternoon tea. If you want something to eat before visiting the Library, Plum and Spilt Milk serve up-market breakfasts and coffee. If you fancy a post-study drink the Parcel Yard pub above King’s Cross Station is large and has a decent selection of beer and a full menu. Unusually for a station pub, its size means you can usually find a seat. Don’t forget to have your photograph taken pushing a trolley, Harry Potter style, onto platform 9 3/4 whilst you are there!

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Platform 9 3/4, located close to the Parcel Yard pub in King’s Cross Station

 

The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB
Tel: 0330 333 1144
Email: Customer-Services@bl.uk

Don’t forget– if you cannot make it in to St George’s Library over the summer, there are still many resources that you can access from a computer with internet access (logins may be required). Click here for further information.