Summer Sites: Tooting Library

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Tooting Library

The closest public library to SGUL is Tooting Library, which is located on Mitcham Road. The library is operated by GLL, a social enterprise. Membership to Wandsworth Libraries will allow you use of Greenwich Borough Libraries as well.

Tooting Library

The library is housed in an Edwardian era building which was originally built in 1902 as a single storey.  The library was recently refurbished in 2010; the new interior is bright and spacious and has some spectacular installations, such as the full building height stained glass window.

The library has most of the features you would expect to find in a modern library. On the ground floor is the adult lending library – which has a good selection of fiction and non fiction books. The library also features a large collection of Asian language books including: Urdu, Gujarati and Hindi fiction and non fiction titles.

The library Computer Suite and study area is located on the first floor; library computers must be booked before use. There is also free Wi-Fi throughout the library and a small dedicated study space in the computer room if you’re taking your own device. You don’t need to be a member of the library to use the Wi-Fi, but you will need to register before accessing the network. Printing and photocopying facilities are also available.

Stained glass window in Tooting Library
Stained glass window in Tooting Library

Some of the more interesting resources for library members are the online resources. Ebooks and Audio Books can be downloaded to a PC or mobile device using the OverDrive app. You can also download and stream music for free using the Freegal music service. Membership also provides access to many online reference tools – including Ancestry and Access to Research. There are also links to Theory Test Pro, the Encyclopaedia Britannica and many of the Oxford Online reference tools.

Membership to the library is free; to join you will need to complete a registration form or register online. Some form of identification is also required to complete the registration process, such as a utility bill, drivers licence or council tax bill.

Near Tooting Library

As the library is situated in Tooting town centre there is not much in the way of open recreational spaces close by, although there are buildings of interest nearby. The old Granada Cinema (currently the Gala Bingo hall), which is opposite the library, is a fine example of Art Deco architecture, and the building is worth visiting for the spectacular Gothic style interior. The building was built in 1931 and is a Grade 1 listed building. It was primarily a cinema and music hall up until the mid seventies, with Frank Sinatra and the Beatles being amongst the many music stars to have played there. Further afield you can find green spaces at Tooting Bec Common. The common has football pitches, tennis courts and a café. One of the most popular features on the common is the Tooting Bec Lido an open-air fresh water swimming pool, which is the second largest in the UK.

Tooting Bec Lido
Tooting Bec Lido

A cup of coffee and a sandwich?

Tooting has never really been a coffee and sandwich kind of town, it’s food reputation has been based on the number of quality Indian and Pakistani restaurants along Tooting High Street, but other offerings have recently sprung up. The Coffee Co. of Tooting is a new independent coffee shop, located at 4 Tooting High Street, selling quality coffees and pastries. Other options can be found in the nearby and ever changing Tooting markets. In Broadway Market you can find the Pedal Back Café, where you can grab a coffee and get your bike repaired. For a non coffee option, you could try Get Juiced for fresh slow pressed juices and salads, which is located in the Tooting Market.

Tooting Library
5 Mitcham Road, London
SW17 9PD
Tel: 020 8767 0543
better.org.uk/libraries/tooting-library

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 Royal College of Nursing Library and Heritage Centre

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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.

Summer Sites: The Wellcome Collection

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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.

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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.

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‘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

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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.

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Entrance hall of the British Museum.


A sandwich and a cup of coffee?

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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

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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.

Summer Sites: The Royal College of Physicians

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The Royal College of Physicians

Usually Royal Colleges are housed behind grand Georgian or Victorian facades. As a result of bomb damage the original home of the Royal College of Physicians was destroyed and it’s replacement, designed by Denys Lasdun is a famous example of the Brutalist style of modernist architecture.

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The Royal College of Physicians.

The College has a study space, The Wellcome Reading Room, that is available to those interested in medical subjects. The College’s particular strengths are in the history of medicine, medical education and health and social policy. Services include access to print and e-journal collections and also e-books. Rare books, manuscripts and archives can be consulted by making an appointment.

The_Censors_Room_of_The_Royal_College_of_Physicians_in_London
Recreation of the ‘Censors’ Room’.

The College is a fascinating place to visit, apart from it’s light and airy modern interior it is full of interesting objects such as paintings, silverware and a collection of historical medical objects. These include the very rare 17th century anatomical tables and the interior of the ‘Censors’ Room’ which was moved from the old building. They also hold temporary exhibitions throughout the year. The college is open to the general public and even provides a free headset guide for visitors who are interested in its architecture or displays. Unusually, the College also has a beautiful Medicinal Garden which contains a range of plants used in medicine, this is also open to the public and tours are available on several dates over the summer.

Near the Royal College of Physicians

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Regent’s Park.

The main attraction in the area is literally right next to the College: Regent’s Park. The park contains gardens, memorials and an open-air theatre. On the northern edge of the park is London Zoo who offer ‘Sunset Safaris’ throughout the summer, late night opening when many of the animals are at their liveliest. Also in the northern part of the park is Primrose Hill which offers one of the finest views of London’s skyline and is a favourite place for kite flyers.

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People enjoying the view from Primrose Hill.


A cup of coffee and a sandwich?

primrose
The Primrose Bakery.

If it is sunny the best thing to do is take a picnic and sit in the park. The most varied selection of places for food and drink are near Primrose Hill. The Queen’s Pub has good food and is always full of dogs and their walkers. The Primrose Bakery in nearby Gloucester Avenue is famous for its cupcakes. A Regent’s Park Road institution, the Lemonia Greek Taverna has good value set lunches during the week and is a pleasant light airy space full of plants and ferns.

Royal College of Physicians
11 St Andrews Place
Regent’s Park
London NW1 4LE

Tel: 0203075 1649

Email: enquiries@rcplondon.ac.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.

Summer Sites: The Royal College of Surgeons

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Over the coming months, our ‘Summer Sites’ series will be featuring interesting Libraries and Institutions that are linked with medicine or healthcare studies and research which you can visit. They may have useful study resources, fascinating museum displays or be housed in historic buildings. Included in the posts will be details of nearby sights and attractions and we will suggest places where you can get a good snack, meal or cup of coffee to fuel your day. We hope these will encourage you to go out and enjoy London this summer.

The Royal College of Surgeons

The Library

Summer is (hopefully) coming, providing us all with chances  to get out and explore London. One of the best things about studying in this city is the number of Libraries  some of which are attached to famous medical institutions and colleges. One of these is the Library at the Royal College of Surgeons.

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The facade of the Royal College of Surgeons

It is based in an elegant Georgian building overlooking Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Situated close to both Chancery Lane and Holborn Tube stations. There are also plenty of bus routes, many of these running to and from South London.

You can use the Library Reading Room during the College’s opening hours by contacting the Library. The Library has a famous historical medical collection but also keeps a number of journals in print and online. There are also printing and copying facilities and access to WiFi. The College’s strength is naturally in the field of surgery but it also covers anatomy, medical history and natural history. The Reading Room itself is a graceful space with high ceilings, lined with books and journals. It is a quiet and peaceful place in which to study or consult reference materials.

Image of interior of the Hunterian Museum
Interior of the Hunterian Museum

There are other reasons to visit. You could contact the Library and ask to have a look at the Reading Room and combine it with a trip to the Hunterian Museum. John Hunter was, of course, a St George’s man but when the government bought his collection, it was given over to the care of the Royal College of Surgeons. It forms the nucleus of the current collection and the Museum is full of fascinating objects displayed in an interesting interactive manner. This is reflected by the fact that it is popular with the general public. Temporary exhibitions take place across the year and there are also a range of lectures and events, details of which can be found on their website: https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/museums/hunterian. You can also visit the shop, which sells, amongst other things, glow in the dark eyeballs. Entry is free and it is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00am – 17.00pm (note that the Library is not open on Saturdays).

Near the Royal College of Surgeons:

Just on the other side of the field  is the Sir John Soane’s Museum. Based in the famous architect’s former London residence it is full of wonderful things that he collected. Objects range from works by Hogarth to an Egyptian sarcophagus and entry is free. The Courtauld Gallery in Aldwych is part of the Courtauld Institute which is, like St George’s, part of the University of London. It’s permanent collection of paintings is popular with tourists and visitors, but St George’s students should be able to get free admission by showing their Student ID.

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Eduard Manet’s ‘A Bar at the Folies- Bergere’, on display in the Courtauld Gallery


A cup of coffee and a sandwich?

In Lincoln’s Inn Field itself, there is a nice café with outside tables. There are also several supermarkets nearby so if it is sunny it is a good place for a picnic. If the weather is not so good there are several historic pubs in the area notably the Seven Stars in Carey Street and the Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street. The best coffee in the area can be found in the Fleet Street Press cafe (3 Fleet Street).

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People enjoying the sun in Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Note:  The RCS Library is going to be closed due to unforeseeable circumstances from 1 August to 4 September inclusive, further information is on the library webpages.

Library and Surgical Information Services
The Royal College of Surgeons
35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London
WC2A 3PE

Tel: 020 7869 6555/6
Email: library@rcseng.ac.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). See our online resources post for further information.