The Wellcome Library is one of the world's greatest collections of books, manuscripts, pictures and films on the meaning and history of medicine, from the earliest times to the present day. It is freely open to the public without appointment and provides a wide range of enquiry services. The Library is part of the Wellcome Trust.
The Wellcome Library has been active for almost a century in collecting books and manuscripts on the medical traditions and history of South Asia. In 1911, Sir Henry Wellcome sent his agent, Dr Paira Mall, to India to collect materials for a proposed museum of mankind which would focus on medical history. Mall remained in India for a decade, purchasing manuscripts, books, paintings, and other materials. These were shipped to England in the early 1920s, and, together with a vast quantity of Indic material purchased in small London auction rooms, form the core of the South Asian collections. Since Mall's time, the South Asian collections have continued to be augmented, a policy that continues today.
South Asian collections
The South Asian collections are a rich resource of primary and secondary sources relating to the region. Medical history lies at the heart of the collection but most areas of human endeavour are documented in manuscript (South Asian and western), printed and pictorial material. The collection of Hindi manuscripts is one of the largest outside India, the Sanskrit and Panjabi collections are included among the major collections of Europe.
Medical Photographic Library
South Asian Collections
Asia: body, mind, spirit
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