18 January - 28 July 2016, Monday-Friday only, 9am-5pm. FREE ENTRY
An exhibition exploring the life and legacy of John Dee, one of Tudor England's most extraordinary and enigmatic figure.
A revelatory show. As the visitor peers, he finds himself drawn ever more deeply not just into the historical world of the Tudors but into the labyrinthine mind of one of its most riveting denizens.
Mathematician, magician, astronomer, astrologer, imperialist, alchemist and spy, John Dee (1527–1609) continues to fascinate and inspire centuries after he entered the court of Elizabeth I.
Our exhibition explores Dee through his personal library. On display for the first time are Dee's mathematical, astronomical and alchemical texts, many elaborately annotated and illustrated by Dee's own hand. Now held in the collections of the Royal College of Physicians, they reveal tantalising glimpses into the 'conjuror's mind'.
- Address: The Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4LE
- Opening times: Monday-Friday only, 9am-5pm (last entry 4.30pm)
**Opening days vary - check our visiting page for closure days before your visit**
- Special evening opening: 5-7pm on Thursdays 30 June & 21 July (no need to book)
- Book now: John Dee tours & lectures
- Event videos: Deborah Harkness, Bill Sherman and Katie Birkwood talk about John Dee's miraculous mind.
- Getting to the RCP
More information: Dee’s lost library at the Royal College of Physicians
With their beautiful typography and delicate, enigmatic scribbles in the margin, John Dee's books show the movements of this searching Renaissance mind as it makes sense of its world, line by line.
- A constellation for John Dee by artist Jeremy Millar, 2016
- Exhibition introduction with rare books librarian Katie Birkwood
- Writer Simon Singh on John Dee and Tudor code-breaking
- Jeanette Winterson on John Dee, alchemy and the imagination
- Deborah Harkness, Katie Birkwood and Bill Sherman speak about Dee's miraculous mind at our 9 May lecture evening.
Dee's books are displayed alongside loans from the Science Museum, the British Museum and the Wellcome Collection and include Dee's mirror and crystal ball, and a specially commissioned film by acclaimed artist Jeremy Millar.
Send us your feedback & win a prize: take our two minute online survey and we’ll send John Dee exhibition gifts to one lucky winner every month.
- On arrival: sign in at our reception desk. A cloakroom is available. You can pick up a free multimedia visitor guide packed with information about RCP history and architecture, or make your way straight to our first floor gallery to meet John Dee.
- Groups: Groups of six or more can visit the RCP by appointment only. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'd be delighted to advise you. Only groups led by our staff and authorised guides can explore the building.
- The RCP is a busy conference venue and occasionally the exhibition gallery will become crowded as delegates move around the building, particularly at lunch time. We do appreciate your patience and you can explore the rest of our building, collections and medicinal garden at these times.
- Access: The Royal College of Physicians' Grade I listed building has step free access to all areas. Please contact us to discuss your access requirements.
- Travel: We are 5 minutes walk from Great Portland Street and Regent's Park underground stations, 10 minutes walk from Warren Street and just a short stroll along from the Wellcome Collection, British Library, Kings Cross and St Pancras stations.
- Find us on Google maps
- Gifts: Love John Dee? Visit the RCP online shop for all your John Dee essentials
- Exhibition curators: Katie Birkwood, RCP rare books librarian and Sarah Backhouse, RCP exhibitions coordinator
- Loans coordinator: Peter Basham, RCP collections officer
- Publicist: Discover Medical London
- Project manager: Emma Shepley, RCP senior curator