New head of Wellcome Library appointed

A new Head of the Wellcome Library - which is part of Wellcome Collection in central London - has been appointed. Dr Simon Chaplin started his new position at the beginning of February.

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.

Notes for editors

About the Wellcome Library


The Wellcome Library is founded on the collections formed by Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853-1936), whose personal wealth, founded on the pharmaceutical company which he developed and owned, allowed him to spend the last four decades of his life indulging one of the most ambitious collecting visions of the twentieth century.

About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charity dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.