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Reading Medicine
UCL Cruciform Library
Harte, N. & North, J. The World of UCL 1828-1990.
Rev. ed. London: UCL, 1991. p236-7
Origins of the Cruciform Library
On the first day of term, 27 September 1999, the clinical sciences collections re-opened as the Cruciform Library in the basement of the former University College Hospital, now known as the Cruciform Building. The area now occupied by the library in the south-east wing had accommodated various Hospital departments including radiotherapy, pharmacy and sterile fluids immediately prior to its closure in 1993. It is interesting to note that as part of the Institutional Plan submitted to the Universities Funding Council in 1990, the whole of the former Hospital building was proposed for use as the "future library" for UCL and would have brought together many of UCL's library collections under one roof had it been successful.

A year ahead of the first joint intake of students to the new Royal Free & University College Medical School in September 2000, collections were broadened to encompass textbooks in anatomy, biochemistry and physiology, enabled through special funding from the Medical School. Together with the Medical Sciences collections in the Science Library (DMS Watson Building) and the Boldero Library these have formed a core resource for students at the Medical School's Bloomsbury Campus. With a total area of 840 square metres the Cruciform is more than twice the size of the old Clinical Sciences reading room and with a seating capacity of up to 240 the study space is greater than the Boldero and Clinical Sciences Libraries combined, which had 67 and 90 places respectively. In its short life the Cruciform Library has already seen many changes, not least in IT provision which includes the introduction of wireless networking and terminals for in-library access to UCL's several thousand electronic journals.

Photograph of the Cruciform Building with the new hospital in the background
Photograph of the Cruciform Building with the new hospital in the background
UCL Cruciform Library, 2005
UCL Cruciform Library, 2005
The new University College Hospital building on Euston Road opened on 14 June 2005. As the clinical departments and wards of the Middlesex Hospital prepared to move across, so the Boldero Library closed for the last time on 12 August. The Boldero and Cruciform collections have now been fully integrated to form a substantial resource of current medical literature. Jointly serving the NHS and UCL's staff, students and researchers, the Cruciform Library re-opened on 30 August 2005.

Last modified 20 June 2007

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