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The Joint Library of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital & UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

Opening hours
  Reading Rooms Issue Desk
Monday 08:00 - 21:00 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 21:00 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 21:00 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 08:00 - 21:00 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 08:00 - 21:00 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 13:00
Reference only for existing library members
Sunday 09:00 - 13:00
Reference only for existing library members
  Reading Rooms Issue Desk
Monday 08:00 - 21:00 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 21:00 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 21:00 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 08:00 - 21:00 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 08:00 - 21:00 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 13:00
Reference only for existing library members
Sunday 09:00 - 13:00
Reference only for existing library members

Please note:
If you wish to join the Library you must make your first visit during Issue Desk opening hours.

Existing library members can access the Library outside of Issue Desk opening hours for reference only. A valid UCL ID card / Moorfields Eye Hospital ID card / UCL Library card must be produced at reception.

Public holidays: Opening arrangements are the same as weekends.

Address and contact details

Important: staffing shortages mean that until further notice you should telephone or email in advance of your visit to be sure that the library is open. Thank you.

  • Address: UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, 11-43 Bath Street, London, EC1V 9EL
  • Telephone: 020 7608 6814
  • E-mail: ophthlib@ucl.ac.uk
  • Nearest tube station: Old Street (Northern Line - Bank branch)
  • Library pages on UCL Institute of Ophthalmology website: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioo/The_Joint_Library.php
  • Librarian: Debbie Heatlie
  • Deputy Librarian: Desta Bokre
  • Senior Library Assistant: Katie Abranson



Subject coverage and guides

The Joint Library of Ophthalmology is the foremost ophthalmic library in Europe. It houses collections relating to the areas of:

  • ophthalmology;
  • visual science;
  • biomedicine, medicine and nursing.

For details of all UCL biomedical collections and services, including information about the Service Level Agreement between UCL and associated NHS Trusts, see the Biomedicine & Health pages.

To locate a particular collection within any of the UCL libraries see the list of Library locations by subject.


The Library is situated on the lower ground floor of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology building. The main entrance is on Bath Street. Please note: a valid UCL ID card / Moorfields Eye Hospital ID card / UCL Library card must be produced at reception to access the Library outside of Issue Desk opening hours.

A detailed map of the area is available.

Disabled access

Disabled visitors should contact the Library prior to their visit.

UCL Library Services also offers a range of other facilities for disabled users which are listed separately.



Full membership is available to UCL staff and students and to NHS staff employed by Moorfields Eye Hospital. Staff of UCLH, Camden PCT, Islington PCT and Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, GOSH, Royal Free and RNOH NHS Trusts are also eligible to join. NHS staff applying for access must produce their NHS ID card when making their application.

Visiting academic staff and students, short term workers and those engaging in collaborative research at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology or Moorfields Eye Hospital are generally allowed to use the Library, at the discretion of the Librarian.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the Library: the cost for a day pass is £7. The Library has reciprocal arrangements with some other institutions and hospital trusts to allow staff and postgraduates reference access. Please contact us for further details.

All users of the Library must abide by the Library Regulations available at www.ucl.ac.uk/library/regs.shtml.

Borrowing, renewing, returning and reserving

NHS staff and UCL undergraduate/thaught postgraduate students may borrow up to 10 items at any one time. UCL research students may borrow up to 20 items, and UCL staff members have unlimited borrowing rights. Items may be borrowed from the Issue Desk on production of a valid UCL ID card / Moorfields ID card / UCL Library card.

To extend your loans, log into your account via the library catalogue Explore. To log in you must enter your library barcode number (found at the back of your ID / library card) and your PIN. Please ask a member of library staff if you do not know your PIN. Alternatively, you may request renewal of your loans in person or by telephone (020 7608 6814) during Issue Desk opening hours.

Items may be returned in person to the Issue Desk or in the red book bin located inside the Library when the Issue Desk is closed.

To reserve an item currently on loan, locate it on Explore, click in the 'Locations' tab and sign in with your library barcode number and PIN. An email will be sent to you as soon as the item is ready for collection from the Issue Desk. You have a week to collect it.


Books are located in the reading room and are arranged by a classification scheme based on the National Library of Medicine classification. A separate Reference collection includes dictionaries and directories. Copies of certain texts are held at the Issue Desk. Locations may be checked on Explore.

A high proportion of books can be borrowed for three weeks and can be renewed provided that nobody has requested them. A small proportion of books labelled 'Reference only' cannot be borrowed.


The Library receives about 68 current journals in print and backfiles of ophthalmic titles are held in the reading room. All journals can be borrowed overnight, with the exception of current parts and journals published before 1950.

Audiovisual material

CD ROMs and DVDs are held at the Issue Desk. They may be borrowed for one week or viewed in the Library on personal laptops or on library computers equipped with CD ROM / DVD drives. CD ROMs and DVDs can be looked up on Explore. Alternatively, lists are available from the Issue Desk.

Historical Collection

The Library holds a collection of historical materials dating back to 1585, including books, journals, paintings and ophthalmic instruments. Items held in the Historical Collection are available by appointment for reference only. Please contact us in advance of your visit.

Moorfields Eye Hospital Museum

The Museum is housed in the Joint Library of Ophthalmology. A rare Hermann von Helmholtz ophthalmoscope, an artificial leech, a Pfister and Streit ophthalmometer and a Hardy Keratometer, are just some of the ophthalmic exhibits on display.


UCL Institute of Ophthalmology theses are available for reference only from the UCL Library Stores. Please see www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/database/theses.shtml for more details.


Reprints of selected journal articles dating back to the 19th century are held in the library. They are available for reference only during Issue Desk opening hours.


Library staff can help with a variety of enquiries about library, biomedical and health resources, including literature searches. Enquiries may be submitted to library staff members in person, by email or by telephone (020 7608 6814).


The Library offers a regular programme of training sessions on specific resources. Please see the Information Skills Training Timetable for details of scheduled sessions and booking information.

Specific training sessions can also be arranged on a one-to-one basis or in small groups. To arrange a training session please contact us by email or by telephone (020 7608 6814).

Inter-library loans

Books and journal articles held at other UCL Library sites or not in stock at UCL may be requested on inter-library loan using the Inter Library Form. A charge may apply - please ask library staff for details. Members of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology can nominate a departmental grant code to which the cost is to be charged. Moorfields Eye Hospital staff can pay by cash or cheque.

UCL electronic resources

Electronic resources licensed to UCL are available to UCL users through the UCL Library's web pages. In particular, UCL subscribes to thousands of electronic journals accessible from Explore and the UCL ejournals service. UCL also subscribes to many databases available from www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/database, and to a number of electronic books available from Explore and www.ucl.ac.uk/library/ebooks.

UCL users can access UCL resources on-site as well as off-site with their UCL IS username and password. For more information see www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/e-res.

Access to most UCL electronic journals and databases is available to registered NHS users and library visitors on dedicated machines located in the library. Articles can be saved on a USB memory stick.

NHS electronic resources

With an NHS Athens account, NHS staff can access a number of databases, electronic journals and electronic books including Oxford Handbooks and titles from the WHO. To register for an NHS Athens account, and to access the electronic resources available, please visit www.evidence.nhs.uk.

IT services

The following IT services are available in the Library:

  • a UCL Cluster with six managed computers;
  • the UCL RoamNet wireless network (see www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/students/wireless/roamnet for instructions);
  • two dedicated machines with access to UCL electronic journals and databases for NHS staff and library visitors;
  • three NHS computers on the Moorfields Eye Hospital network;
  • a UCL Library catalogue terminal;
  • a scanner;
  • printing facilities.


There are two photocopiers located in the reading room. Moorfields Eye Hospital staff are entitled to free photocopying. A security code can be obtained from the Issue Desk on production of a valid Moorfields ID card. Other library members may purchase a photocopy card for use on the other photocopier. Photocopy cards are available in units of £1 (= 15 A4 copies). Colour copies (and colour printing) at the charge of 10p per A4 are available on request.

The terms of the Copyright Act (1988) and the UCL or NHS license with the Copyright Licensing Agency must be adhered to, as appropriate. Guidelines are displayed near the photocopiers.

Safety and security

The Library is protected by a security system and is covered by CCTV. If an alarm sounds as you are leaving it may be necessary to examine any library materials in your possession.

Please do not leave valuables unattended. Any lost property handed in will be held initially at the Issue Desk, and may then be handed in to the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology reception.

If the fire alarm sounds please leave the Library immediately by the nearest exit as directed, and assemble outside the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology building, on the other side of Bath Street.

Accessing other libraries

Members of the Library are entitled to use all UCL libraries on production of a valid UCL ID card / Moorfields ID card with valid library barcode / UCL Library card. Items held in other UCL Libraries can be identified via Explore and may be available for loan.

UCL staff and students may be entitled to access other libraries. See www.ucl.ac.uk/library/otheraccess for more details.

Staff members employed in the NHS London Region have access to the Bloomsbury Healthcare Library, which has a collection with strengths in nursing. Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) may also use the RCN library services and archives.

More catalogue and homepages of other libraries can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/library/otherlib. Please check the membership policy before attempting to visit another library.

Patient information

There is patient information on eye conditions available on the Moorfields Eye Hospital website.

Moorfields Direct, a nurse-led telephone helpline is also available between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday to assist you with queries about your eyes. Telephone: 020 7566 2345 (this is a London number and will incur normal charges).

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Last modified 11 November 2010

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