Old Library

The Queen Square Library is funded jointly by the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital, and is the recognised specialist Library for Neurology within the University of London. There are records for the Library dating back to the early years of the Hospital, and the basis of the Historical Collections are the books and journals previously held within the Hospital and the former Medical School at Maida Vale, and the private collections of members of staff at Queen Square. The Library, Archive and Museum receives over 25,000 visits per annum.

Rare books and Queen Square reprints

The Library at Queen Square holds substantial collections of historical and rare books, reprints and specialist journals, some of which are not held elsewhere in the UK.

The Rare Books are held in the Louise Shepherd Room, in memory of Louise who was Queen Square Librarian from1993-2012.

The majority of the rare books and Queen Square reprints collections once belonged to the staff of Queen Square or have been acquired by the Library and were at one time part of the working collections. The Queen Square Library holds a unique collection of historical and rare books, journals and reprints. The Rare Book Collection extends to some 3000 volumes from 1695 onwards, print journal collections dating from 1848 covering much foreign language material unique to the UK as well as English language specialist material; and an extensive collection of published and unpublished research papers.

Many of these were the personal copies of key figures in the history of neurology, neuroscience and neurosurgery, including Taylor, Horsley, Gowers, Ferrier, Head, Greenfield, Brain, Critchley, Holmes and Denny Brown. Classics include original works by Bastian, Batten, Bramwell, Broca, Brown-Sequard, Cajal, Charcot, Clark, Cushing, Bell, Freud, Pavlov, Dandy, De Egas, Dejerine, Gowers, Duchenne, Ferrier, Gilles de la Tourette, Fulton, Laycock, Marie, Weir Mitchell, Kinnier Wilson, Sherrington etc. Many are signed and annotated by the authors. Also held is a very substantial collection of reprints. These are by staff of Queen Square, and again, many are signed and annotated, including a unique and internationally important collection of annotated reprints, privately published papers and hand-written notes by John Hughlings Jackson (this collection includes some 45 unpublished papers, and an original notebook).

More information and access

Full details of all of the books in this collection are available via the Library catalogue. Most items are available for viewing for reference by visitors and library members, on production of an ID and completion of a request form. Access to unique or fragile items is at the discretion of the Librarian or Chair of the Medical Committee. It is advisable to contact the Library in advance to arrange for access to particular items in the collections. The reprints collections are only part catalogued, so please contact the Library before visiting.

More information and access

Over 400 of our 19th Century books have been digitised and made available online as part of the UK Medical Heritage Library digitisation project

For more information about the Library please see the library website.