Reading Room Prototyping

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As part of the development project we are asking you: ‘How would you like to interact with our curious collection?’

M0004494 Wellcome museum, view of statuary hall

Hall of Statuary, Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, 1930s

The Wellcome Library Reading Room is an iconic space and one that has taken on many roles. Originally envisaged as a Hall of Statuary, it was transformed into a library in 1949 and has been refurbished several times since then, most recently in 2007 when we launched Wellcome Collection. Now the room is set to be transformed again as part of our exciting plans to expand Wellcome Collection.

A hybrid of library, gallery and social space, the new Reading Room will complement our dedicated research library. It will be the natural home for visitors to Wellcome Collection who want to indulge their curiosity and explore our collections in a little more depth. It will be a forum for events as well as housing books, artworks and objects, supported by an online experience that taps into the Wellcome Library’s rich digital collections.

In order to develop this space we are asking for your help. Over the coming months we will be working with visitors to make sure the new Reading Room has an enjoyable and truly engaging atmosphere while remaining a showpiece for the building. The first chance to take part in this conversation will be a series of drop-in prototyping sessions:

  • Friday, 5 April: 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00
  • Saturday, 6 April: 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00
  • Sunday, 7 April: 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00
  • Monday, 8 April: 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00
  • Tuesday, 9 April:  10.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00

In these sessions you will explore and experiment with different ways of interacting and responding to museum objects and library materials. The sessions will be run in the Lightbox room opposite the Medicine Now gallery on the first floor of Wellcome Collection. They will be hands-on, fun, informative and are open to all visitors. We are in the early stages of the development project and your feedback from these sessions will influence the final design of the room.

We hope you can drop in to the first sessions, which start Friday, 5 April 2013.

Author: Oliver Winchester

Ross Macfarlane

Ross Macfarlane is the Research Engagement Officer at the Wellcome Library.

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