View resources on the history of psychiatry below.




    • Professor John Cooper's Nottingham Psychiatric Archive: This archive is a bibliography of research done in Nottingham that follows on from the interests of Duncan Macmillan, plus a collection of hard copies of documents that reflect Professor John E. Cooper’s work with the World Health Organisation on case registers and the classification and epidemiology of psychiatric disorders.
    • History of Psychiatry in Britain since 1500

      This series of podcasts by Professor Rab Houston at the University of St Andrews provides thought provoking perspectives on many aspects of the history of psychiatry.

    • Oral history is the recording of people's memories, experiences and opinions.


      • A living history of everyone's unique life experiences

      • An opportunity for those people who have been 'hidden from history' to have their voice heard

      • A rare chance to talk about and record history face-to-face

      • A source of new insights and perspectives that may challenge our view of the past.

      The Oral History Society promotes the collection, preservation and use of recorded memories and plays a key role in facilitating and developing the use of oral history.

      The OHS has a new special interest group the Psycho-Social Therapies and Care Environments.

    • Planned Environment Therapy Trust (closed in 2018, but subsumed into The Mulberry Bush)

    • Fiona Subotsky's blog Dracula for Doctors will let you dip into medicine, botany and more in Dracula, the 1897 Gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker. Her book Dracula for Doctors is on its way.

    • We also recommended reading 'The history of psychiatry: personal reflections'  (pdf) by psychiatrist and historian Allan Beveridge.

    • Documentaries on YouTube. Some are controversial, most contain historic images or oral history interviews.



    • Wellcome Library
    • Neuro Psychiatry 1943

      Copies of both the long and short versions of Neuro Psychiatry 1943 are held in the archives of the British Film Institute. The long version has been digitized and a copy of this is held in the Wellcome Trust Film Archive, Euston Road, London, UK.

    • Bethlem Museum of the Mind

    International Mental Health Collaborating Network deinstitutionalisation archive 

    • This contains a lot of valuable (and some controversial) information, including further links.

    Whittingham Lives is a Heritage Lottery funded arts and heritage project aimed at exploring, researching, celebrating, and perhaps critically reviewing, the culture and legacy of Whittingham Asylum, near Preston, Lancashire from its opening in the 1870s until its closure in 1996 and recent demolition.

    The hospital became an unlikely site for psychiatric research, an emergency war hospital, and then the largest County Mental Hospital in England before a major inquiry lead to its demise.

    An ambitious programme of arts and heritage events is planned over the next two years aiming to challenge and change public attitudes towards mental health by engaging service users, carers, and the wider public, with creative artists, musicians, historians and health professionals with the story of the people of the Asylum.

    The project has access to extensive textual and visual resources held at the Lancashire County Archives and will be underpinned by historical research.

    Our current interests include institutional history, physical treatments, psychiatric ‘treatment’ of lesbian, bisexual and gender non-conforming women, patients’ clothing and diet, trade unions, photographic records, dramatic and musical responses, and the memorialization of former patients.

    We welcome enquiries from prospective researchers into any aspect of the lives of the people of Whittingham.


    Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry