UCL home page


Library home » Reading Medicine » Boldero Library


UCL Library Services


Magnifying glass image
Explore the Library’s books, journals and online resources. Find out more


Reading Medicine
Boldero Library
Ranger, D. The Middlesex Hospital Medical School: centenary to sesquicentary 1935-1985.
London: Hutchinson Benham, 1985. p 145
Hickling, J. The Medical School Library: a perspective.
The Middlesex Hospital Journal. 1972-73; 72: 63-65
Magonet, J. The Librarians.
The Middlesex Hospital Journal. 1963; 1: 21-23
Origins of the Medical School Library
Ranger wrote that by 1935 it was well recognized that the buildings in which the School was housed were inadequate and outdated. Most of the accommodation had been constructed in the previous century and could no longer meet requirements. An overall scheme of improvement was therefore formulated in 1936 and a start was made by erecting the main School building with the Dean's office, School administration and lecture theatres on the ground floor; and the library, scientific laboratories and post-mortem room on the floors above.

The new Library was opened in 1939, but was known as the Boldero Library only from 1955, when it was named in recognition of the contribution to the School made by Sir Harold Boldero, the retiring Dean. At first the glazed cases at either end of the large room were sufficient to hold the collection, and tables and chairs for the readers were so disposed that the room could be used for prize-givings and other functions. On one occasion the then Queen Mother came to distribute prizes to students of the School of Nursing there.

Miss Hickling and Mrs Trickett, Boldero Library 1963.
Miss Hickling and Mrs Trickett, Boldero Library 1963.
Detail from Sir Charles Bell's Essays on the Anatomy of Expression in Painting (1806)
Detail from Sir Charles Bell's Essays on the Anatomy of Expression in Painting (1806)
Inevitably the Library holdings grew and eventually permission was granted to install free-standing shelving between the windows on either side of the room and the "function room" aspect of the Library was abandoned. An interview in 1963 with the then Librarian, Miss Hickling, and her assistant, Mrs Trickett, gives the impression of a modern organized library, but one with an encouraging and responsive attitude to the student readership. Mrs Trickett had joined the Library staff in 1953 and worked with several Librarians over ten years or so. Students had plainly felt at home in the Library: one had had his own shelf, on which he kept his laundry as well as his books, and another felt able to let off a firework in a small case under the periodicals table to wake up dozing readers. Miss Hickling, a professional librarian, was able to organize the Library, not entirely catalogued when she took over, and to modernize it.

Last modified 14 May 2007

University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999-