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Archives and Historical Libraries in Psychiatry

  • Martin Guha (a1)
Extract

Birley (1981) has quoted Whitehead as saying ‘a science which hesitates to forget its founders is lost’. On the other hand, however, Hunter and MacAlpine (1963) noted that ‘the historical study of psychiatry, unlike that of medicine, is inseparable from the appreciation of its current problems', and that ‘just as it is the historical and biographical method which the psychiatrist adopts when faced with the problem of the individual patient, so the historical approach may be expected to throw light on the wider problems of psychiatry by laying bare their roots'. Certainly, since taking up appointment as librarian of the Institute of Psychiatry I have been surprised at the awareness of professional history shown by senior staff who I would have expected to be totally absorbed in day-to-day minutiae. A brief note in a specialized journal (Guha, 1983) elicited a considerable correspondence from psychiatric librarians who had noticed the same interest. It is, perhaps, unfortunate that historical resources in psychiatry are somewhat scattered, so that there is no one central archive or library to act as a focus for research in this area.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Bill, E. G. W. (1982) Unexpected Collections at Lambeth Palace Library. University of London, Library Resources Coordinating Committee.
Birley, J. L. T. (1981) Variations on a theme by Alfred North Whitehead. Bethlem and Maudsley Gazette, Summer issue, pp. 1314.
Foster, J. & Sheppard, J. (1982) British Archives. London: Macmillan.
Guha, M. (1983) Historical resources in psychology and psychiatry. Medical Library Bulletin, January, pp. 56.
Hunter, R. & MacAlpine, I. (1963) Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry. Oxford University Press.
Sokal, M. M. & Rafail, P. A. (1982) A Guide to Manuscript Collections in the History of Psychology and Related Areas. New York: Kraus.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0140-0789
  • EISSN: 2514-9954
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Archives and Historical Libraries in Psychiatry

  • Martin Guha (a1)
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