Here you can read past and present issues of News and Notes, the College's History of Psychiatry Special Interest Group (HoPSIG) newsletter.

Latest issue

In this issue, John Hall gives an account of the report of British Psychological Society’s (BPS) Challenging Histories Committee. Graham Ash, in his Chair’s report, comments on the importance of the issues raised by the BPS for the Royal College of Psychiatrists in general and our group in particular. Both emphasize the complexity of retrospectively judging the past and the need for both caution and clarity in this area. We would welcome comments from members on their thoughts on how these complex issues are best tackled. 

The articles in our Newsletter reflect both the breadth and depth of our members’ interests. This time there are two main themes, art and psychiatry and the changing faces of psychiatry. Allan Beveridge gives an account of the artwork used on front covers of the BJPsych and shows the wide and varied interactions between mental health and illness and art. This theme is picked up by Rosemary Golding in her fascinating account of the Psychiatry and the Arts in Nineteenth-Century Britain [PAN] network. John Hall examines a portrait of one of the big names in C19th psychiatry with reflections both on the painter and the sitter and musings on their conversation. The second theme is taken up by Bob Adams and David Marjot and their pieces remind us how far we have travelled and the distance still to go! 

This edition carries thought provoking book reviews by Femi Oyebode and Jane Whittaker, both on challenging topics which deserve more reflection and appreciation. Tommaso Squeri and co-authors give an account of a recent HoPSIG webinar on the life and work of Basaglia and describe his widespread influence then and now. Finally, on a less serious note, the caption competition! Last edition’s one was won by a contributor who prefers to remain anonymous, “Get yer archives here and make history!”


Past issues

Contributing to the newsletter

If you would like to contribute to our newsletter, please contact Nicol Ferrier.

We welcome contributions including:

  • articles: relating to the history of psychiatry and its study. 500-1500 words is about right for the newsletter. Please follow BJPsych referencing format or any other system as long as it is internally consistent.
  • reflections and memories: inspiring, interesting or even shocking, ideas, people, or places of historical interest
  • reviews: old or new books, exhibitions, conferences or websites, etc.
  • puzzle corner questions
  • letters
  • pictures, provided that there are no copyright issues
  • favourite items in the archives.

Please include a two-line autobiographical note.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry