Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Bibliotherapy; History, 19th Century; Mental Disorders/therapy


Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Library and Information Science | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Rehabilitation and Therapy


Introduction: Hospital libraries, including ones designed for patient use, share a common history with hospitals in the evolution of health care delivery 1. The library as a component of the early “insane asylum” in the United States is well documented, and many had been established by the mid-nineteenth century. While these libraries certainly existed as a means of recreation for asylum patients, this historical communication will demonstrate they also served as a center for “bibliotherapy,” the use of reading as a means of healing.


Citation: Levin L., Gildea, R. (2013). Bibliotherapy: tracing the roots of a moral therapy movement in the United States from the early nineteenth century to the present. Journal of the Medical Library Association. 2013 Apr;101(2):89-91. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.101.2.003. Link to article on publisher's site

Copyright : © 2013, Authors.

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.