As a library junkie I am delighted to report about my latest discovery, the Wellcome Library in Euston Road. Its tagline reads the free library for the incurably curious, which sounds innocent and quirky, until you start to notice how many exhibitions, events and resources are related to health, especially mental health, arts and mental health, sexual health in history, drugs, drugs in Victorian Britain, describing the drug experience, test your knowledge of drugs, folk medicine, genome research with special notes on eugenics, not to mention the freakshows.
You really start to wonder about that “incurably”.
Anyway, it’s an excellent space for working, reading, researching and exploring, plus it’s free, and when you’re done you’re also actually free to go, incurable as you are.
A woman is turning a wheel which is tightening the string around a young girl’s waist in order to make it smaller.
Coloured etching by W. Heath, ca. 1830
The web site is very good as well, with plenty of resources and including High Tea, a highly recommended on line game that allows you to experience the stressful life of a tea dealer of the British Empire. Opium is involved.