The Wiener Library

The Wiener Library, London: Hours, Address, The Wiener Library Reviews: 4.5/5

The Wiener Library
4.5
Libraries • Educational sites • History Museums
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Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
The Wiener Library is one of the world's leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era. Formed in 1933, the Library's unique collection of over one million items includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony. The Library traces its roots back to Germany in the 1920s. Dr Alfred Wiener, a German Jew, having fought in WWI, returned to Germany in 1919 and was horrified at the surge of right-wing antisemitism, which blamed Jews for the defeat. Dr Wiener worked with the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith to combat antisemitism, writing, lobbying and speaking publicly. From 1925 (the year Hitler published Mein Kampf) he perceived a greater threat from the Nazi Party than any other antisemitic group or party. Under his influence an archive was started just to collect information about the Nazis, which formed the basis of campaigns to undermine their activities. Dr Wiener and his family fled Germany in 1933 and settled in Amsterdam. Dr Wiener's first archive is believed to have been destroyed. Later that year he set up the Jewish Central Information Office at the request of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Anglo-Jewish Association. The JCIO essentially continued the work of the earlier archive. Following the November Pogrom of 1938, Wiener prepared to bring his collection to the UK. It arrived the following summer and is believed to have opened on the day the Nazis invaded Poland. Throughout the War the JCIO served the British Government as it fought the Nazi regime. Increasingly the collection was referred to as ‘Dr Wiener's Library' and eventually this led to its renaming. Post-war, the Library assisted the prosecutors at the Nuremberg Trial, amassed early survivor testimony and helped to shape the emerging academic study of the Holocaust. Today, the collection is among the largest and most respected in the world and continues to grow. In 2011 it moved to new premises in Russell Square and began a programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to improve access and open its collections to the widest possible audience.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Bloomsbury
Snuggly nestled within Central London is academic and leafy Bloomsbury, an area that boasts walking distance access to many of London's most popular attractions. It is also home to some of Britain's most celebrated museums, including the must-see British Museum. Despite an understandable popularity with students, tourists and day trippers, vast sections of Bloomsbury retain a quiet, residential feel year round and throughout the week.
How to get there
  • Russell Square • 4 min walk
  • Goodge St • 7 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
23 reviews
Excellent
15
Very good
6
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
1

MinkusMe
Kingston-upon-hull, United Kingdom171 contributions
Solo
I went in to the Wiener Library on the off-chance - I saw a placard outside of the library about its exhibition and that it was free to the public. That was enough to draw me in. The exhibition was on the displacement of Jews before and after WWII and the role of Britain in the war. It was extremely interesting and the first-hand accounts and materials added a lot more to the information and the display. I have signed up to the mailing list as I would be very keen to see future exhibitions on the strength of this one. The Library is a short walk from the British Museum and from Russell Street tube station, so can be part of a day out. I would definitely recommend seeing what's on.
Written July 7, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

skippingropeNeasden
london32 contributions
Friends
Alfred Wiener started collecting anti semitic materials before 1933 when Hitler became chancellor of Germany. Since then survivors of the holocaust and history have provided the most complete library of the destruction of minorities from 1933-1945.
a modern building that is fascinating and enlightening and educating beyond belief.
Written November 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Richard W
Worcester, UK327 contributions
Friendly staff and an amazingly warm welcome. A peaceful reading room, well resourced with archive materials available by request. Whether for an insight into how resources about the Holocaust and genocides are curated, or personal research, this library is well worth visiting.
Written October 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gillonholsagain
Durham107 contributions
Family
Waited ages to visit, walked 25 mins here to be told its holding a workshop and entry not allowed. I had checked website before going but they didn't bother to inform visitors of closure. We were told we could visit reading rooms IF we had I.D. like passport , driving licence. ??? As U.K. citizens we do not carry such especially in London. Think their website needs to inform people they will be disappointed.
Written May 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Harry F
Aledo57 contributions
Business
We took 18 college students to the Wiener Library. They found the information presented to be highly interesting and we had good discussions in class on the following day.
Written July 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Phil T
Kingston-upon-Hull, UK644 contributions
Solo
This is a small but very informative museum/library. There is a great deal of information of the holocaust and the impact it had on people especially people coming to England. If you get chance it's worth your time.
Written June 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dr_Max_P
London, UK103 contributions
Solo
A vast and incredibly rich collection of all sorts of material relating to the Holocaust and other genocides. It hosts a few temporary exhibitions and has a wonderful reading room. It is a place for scholars, students, and anyone interested in how infamous racism and hate can be. Ever so actual. A true gem.
Written February 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

thegr8traveller
London, UK4 contributions
Family
Amazing place t visit. It really sheds light on what happened to Holocaust victims post WW2, something I had never really thought about until visiting this exhibition. Even though it is a small exhibit, the interactive tour of a concentration camp with commentary by the British Army General who liberated it is touching on a humanitarian level.
Written September 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

the_finchley_lees
London, UK862 contributions
Friends
Went with a group and the education officer was fluent, sensitive and interesting. were given a tour of archives and shown some photos of displaced persons camps after the war in Belsen. They have an amazing website and you can find out about peoples' stories and experiences

Not sure which was more chilling, the board game called Juden raus!" (Jews out!) : history's most infamous board game made in 1933 with little yellow Jew pieces to move around the board (if you land on six Jews and send them Palestine, you win) or the autographed English copy of Mein Kampf which some English fans had taken to Germany for Hitler to sign, days before we went to war.

Well worth a visit, the library is extraordinary and 15% of its books are to be found nowhere else.
Written April 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amanda O
2 contributions
I first learned of this library and exhibitions when starting a new job and seeing posters in a nearby train station. Lock down being on-and-off and my work hours having to be quite fluid, it has taken me around a year to actually make the short walk here. I managed to secure a slot in the middle of the day for the 'Death Marches - Evidence and Memory' exhibition. I am so glad I managed to work my day around this event. The exhibition was small but still informative. Funds are still neded to help with ongoing research into srories that should never have been (or ever should be) forgotten. There is still a lot we don't know about these people, their lives and/or deaths, but the work continues. A wonderful gem of a place overlooking Russell Square. Working over at the nearby hospital, I am conscious of the precautions in place with respect to invection control, and the staff here cannot be faulted! Displays and the visiting public very well set out, no real possibility of tripping over each other here. I will certainly be back - maybe for longer once Corronavirus restrictions are no longer deemed nescessary.
Written May 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about The Wiener Library

The Wiener Library is open:
  • Mon - Mon 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tue - Tue 10:00 AM - 7:30 PM
  • Wed - Fri 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM