New Issue – Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte

A new issue of the periodical Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte is now out and it includes one article dealing with the history of psychiatry.

“Documenting and Describing. The Epistemic Function of Psychiatric Records, their Archiving and Reinterpretation into Case Histories” by Sophie Ledebur

The paper attempts to reconstruct the writing of published case histories. Due to the establishment of a scientific classification system in psychiatry there were at the Charité several changes from the late 1870s onwards: (1) Not only was the documentation in the clinical records altered significantly, but also (2) the archive was reorganized into a double filing system and (3) the casuistic made a development from describing seldom or sensational cases into a mode which aimed to unfold psychiatric theory through ‘typical cases’. Original medical records, the internal documentation of psychiatric observation, will be compared to their published version. Both, the narrative of a case study and the documentation in the clinical records reveal performative processes of observation and documentation.

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