Dr Chaplin was Director of Museums and Special Collections at The Royal College of Surgeons of England, where he managed the Hunterian Museum - an accredited public museum containing the designated collection of the surgeon John Hunter (1728-1793) - and the Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, a modern medical teaching collection.
He joined the College as Senior Curator in 1998, and led the curatorial team responsible for the £3.2 million refurbishment of the Hunterian Museum between 2003 and 2005 before taking up his current position in 2007. His first degree is in Natural Sciences, and his PhD, completed in the Department of History at King's College London, dealt with the relationship between dissection, collecting and display in late 18th-century London.
"I am very excited about this appointment," explains Clare Matterson, Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust. "Simon demonstrated a real passion for opening up the collections in the Library - and has shown how he can successfully lead a transformation during his time at the Hunterian."
Simon Chaplin commented: "The Wellcome Library's collections are a fantastic resource with appeal to a wide range of audiences. I am delighted to be joining the Library, and look forward to working with staff, users and stakeholders to develop and implement the Library strategy."
2010 is a timely arrival for a new Head of the Wellcome Library as it marks the 60th anniversary year of the Library opening.