Monday, May 14, 2012

New acquisition: Philippe Pinel, Traité médico-philosophique sur l'aliénation mentale

We recently acquired a copy of one of the foremost classics of medical history:

The French physician Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) was one of the founders of modern psychiatry. As director of the Bicêtre asylum in Paris, he was behind a legendary moment in medical history: In the 1790s, he and his disciples began to unchain asylum inmates, allowing them sun, exercise and humane therapy based on empirical approaches. Pinel's approach to treatment is described in this book, which had an international influence on reform in the treatment of the mentally ill.

Above: One of two plates in the book; here Pinel attempts to correlate the appearance of mental patients with diagnosis

Our copy contains several intriguing inscriptions:

Above: Ex-libris label of Dr. A.M Hocbocq of Cholet, France

Above: "Winckler" - perhaps the surname of another owner of the book

Above: A note in faded Italian script laid in. If you can read it, let us know!

This landmark title is being cataloged for the History of Medicine collection, and is available for research in HC&A.

We are grateful to the OHSU History of Medicine Society for their support of this acquisition.

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