The collection was gathered over an extended period of time by the former head librarian of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Jeremiah A. O’Mara. The WPIC placed its historical collection of books and journals on permanent loan in the Falk Library in 1974. In early eighties it was evaluated, re-classed, relocated and incorporated into Historical Collections at Falk. It was further expanded by the addition of books identified as materials of historical significance during the liquidation of WPIC Library in 2009. Today, it is an integral part of the Falk Historical Collections, complemented by archival materials from the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and an extensive circulating collection of current materials in psychiatry maintained by the Falk Library.
Our broad historical psychiatry collection consists of primary and secondary studies in psychiatry and neurology. It covers early works on insanity, hysteria and other mental diseases. It includes books on the mind, phrenology, physiognomy, and early concepts of psychotherapy (hypnotism). It carries voluminous materials on the hospital care of mentally ill including the unique collection of Insane Hospital Reports (Ms 9) and Foreign Insane Hospital Reports(Ms 11).