May 25, 2022

ICYMI: Nine UK Research Libraries Join UK Medical Heritage Library Project, Plans to Digitize 15 Million Pages

The first digitized output from this new partnership will become available online beginning in October.

Of course, digitized material is already online and searchable via the Medical Heritage Library and Internet Archive (another partner, 57,000+ online today).

From The Wellcome Library New Partner Announcement:

The nine partners include:

6 university libraries:

UCL (University College London)
University of Leeds
University of Glasgow
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
King’s College London
University of Bristol

3 Royal College libraries:

Royal College of Physicians of London
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Royal College of Surgeons of England

Relevant works will be selected by the partner libraries from their historic book and pamphlet collections, representing a broad selection of works from across medicine, health, and related subjects. The Internet Archive will carry out all the digitisation work in a brand new scanning centre here at the Wellcome Library that will accommodate well over 2,000 items per month at peak times.

From October, these will start to become available online as part of the Medical Heritage Library collection on the Internet Archive website, and via the Wellcome Library catalogue.

See Also: Wellcome Library and Jisc announce partners in 19th-century medical books digitisation project

Approximately 15 million pages of printed books and pamphlets from all ten partners will be digitised over a period of two years and will be made freely available to researchers and the public under an open licence. By pooling their collections the partners will create a comprehensive online library.

The project’s focus is on books and pamphlets from the 19th century that are on the subject of medicine or its related disciplines. This will include works relating to the medical sciences, consumer health, sport and fitness, as well as different kinds of medical practice, from phrenology to hydrotherapy. Works on food and nutrition will also feature: around 1400 cookery books from the University of Leeds are among those lined up for digitisation. They, along with works from the other partner institutions, will be transported to the Wellcome Library in London where a team from the Internet Archive will undertake the digitisation work. The project will build on the success of the US-based Medical Heritage Library consortium, of which the Wellcome Library is a part, which has already digitised over 50 000 books and pamphlets.

See Also: Take a Look at a Digitized Book Available Online Using the Wellcome Library eBook Player

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.