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Institute of Ophthalmology Library

The Joint Library of Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Institute of Ophthalmology

is jointly funded by both organisations and is a recognised library of national importance.

Moorfields was founded in 1804 by John Cunningham Saunders and has been on City Road site since 1838. Over the years has gained an international reputation for eye care.

Illustratation of an eye: Held in collection

The Institute of Ophthalmology was founded in 1948 by Sir Stewart Duke-Elder and was based in
Illustration of new pigment on front of iris after iritus. (male patient aged 46). Sept 3 1884. Held in the Collection
Judd Street until 1992 when it moved to Bath Street. Together the Institute and Moorfields Eye Hospital form the largest site for eye care and research in the world.

There were two libraries up until 1999. The Joint Study Facility was based in the hospital, the other was based in the Institute. Both were funded separately, but were staffed by the same team.

The Joint Library was founded in 1999, as the result of the union of Moorfields Joint Study Facility and the Institute of Ophthalmology Library. It is a truly multidisciplinary library, serving the clinical and research needs of nurses, doctors, optometrists, orthoptists, pharmacists, researchers and other staff of Moorfields and the Institute.

In 1999 work to extend the Institute building was completed and the Joint Library opened on May 20th, benefiting from increased space and housing the collections from both sites. The extension was funded by the charity Fight for Sight and the Trustees of Moorfields Eye Hospital. New study carrels and rolling stacks were paid for by Fight for Sight, and the shelving, bought with funds from the Trustees, was brought over from Moorfields with the stock.

The Library houses a collection of 2000 bound journals dating from the 1850s onwards, 154 current journal subscriptions, 20,500 books and monographs and an important historical collection of works on ophthalmology and visual science, containing printed material, drawings, photographs and slides.

The new library is staffed by 2 full-time and 2 part-time staff, Deborah Heatlie, Katy Gwyther, Myriem Naji and David Coughlan.

The Library is open to all staff and students of UCL and affiliated NHS Trust staff. Recent developments include the installation of the circulation system ALEPH, which went live in May 2000.

A current awareness service has been launched. The Institute of Ophthalmology and Institute of Child Health were jointly assessed by the HEFCE Quality Assurance Agency, and scored 23/24. The Library scored 4/4 and was highly praised . The Library is a member of AVSL (Association of Vision Science Libraries) which has international membership.

Further information from


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