Our beta collections search

Our collections search is currently in beta, which means we’re developing the service in public for our users. It’s a work in progress, and subject to change based on your feedback and testing.

As part of this work, we will bring together library collections, physical and digital alike, into a single place. Here you will be able to search, browse, read and do research across the whole Wellcome library catalogue.

For a more comprehensive search of all of our collections, wellcomelibrary.org is still available. There you can search the library and archive catalogues for complete coverage of the collections and their data.

We will keep this page up to date with the latest information as we make more progress.

What’s new? (updated 8 July 2020)

Improvements to search relevance

Fine tuning relevance

Based on the data we already have about how search is being used, we've tested a change to the way queries are split and combined. Rather than letting results with any (one or more) of the terms appear in your results (using the OR operator between query tokens), we now require that all of the tokens appear in any result you see (using the AND operator between query tokens). This seems to be returning more relevant results, so we've made this the default algorithm, while kicking off a new test.

What's in development now

  • Search quality: Based on feedback from library catalogue users, we are now working to improve Title and Author searches.
  • Archive collections: We are bringing archive collections data into our catalogue API in order to allow users to search and browse for this material.

What are the limits?

  • We currently only expose digitised materials, so if you're looking for a physical item from our collections, you can still use the library catalogue on wellcomelibrary.org.
  • Some library catalogue data is not available yet, so there may be very little information associated with some images or not be enough information to identify the item you’re looking at.
  • Some images lack references to the item from which they were taken.
  • Our digitised archives and journals are not available yet.

If you want a more comprehensive search, please try searching the catalogue on wellcomelibrary.org in the meantime.

For now, if you need any additional help in identifying items from library collections, please email collections@wellcome.ac.uk.

Get involved

We want to share our work in progress with you, and to get your feedback throughout the development.

If you’d like to help shape how this website works, we invite you to join our User Panel. We’re looking for people at all levels of research experience to participate in the design process.

As a panellist, you’ll be invited to take part in occasional activities which help us test new designs, functionality and features. These activities may be in-person interviews, brief interactive tests, and surveys. You do not need to be present in London to participate; all activities are currently being conducted online.

Join our user panel today to get involved.