Charcot Collection

Jean Cruveilhier, Anatomie pathologique du corps humain ou description avec figures lithographiées et coloriées des diverses altérations morbides dont le corps humain est susceptible, 1842 (Collection Charcot, Atlas d’anatomie)

The Library of Sorbonne University  preserves, in the Jean-Martin Charcot Neuroscience Library, a historical collection consisting mainly of Jean-Martin Charcot's personal library. This includes books, periodicals, collections of theses and offprints, manuscripts, observations, as a neurological collection covering the second part of the 19th century. This collection is completed by collections from the Salpêtrière interns' library (books, periodicals, theses in neurology and psychiatry for the period 1900-1950).

Part of this collection has been digitised with a view to preserving original documents and enhancing the value of collections with a significant iconographic character. The Journal of Magnetism and the Journal of Hypnotism have been converted to text. The text can therefore be queried.


Four types of documents make up the digitised Charcot collection:

An iconographic collection

  • Interns' album: Album of the annual promotions of interns, photographed and classified by social welfare institutions, between 1860 and 1963.
  • Photographies sur les aliénés de Bicêtre (Photographs of the insane of Bicêtre) by D.M Bourneville: two albums presenting photographs of the "little abnormal children" hospitalised at Bicêtre in the department of Doctor D.M Bourneville, collaborator of JM Charcot.


Lessons and manuscripts of Charcot's lessons

  • Manuscripts of the lessons and observations of J.M. Charcot (1825-1893). These are Charcot's oral lessons, written in his own hand and annotated.
  • Charcot's lessons: digitisation of the volumes of the Complete Works of J.M. Charcot's work on the nervous system and clinical teaching, notably the famous Tuesday lessons on hysteria.



  • Les Recherches cliniques et thérapeutiques sur l'épilepsie, l'hystérie et l'idiotie (Clinical and therapeutic researches on epilepsy, hysteria and idiocy) (1872 -1903) by Désiré Magloire Bourneville. It traces all the activities of the Service des Enfants Idiots, at the Salpêtrière and then at Bicêtre, through reports illustrated with photographs and written by Bourneville
  • Revue de l'Hypnotisme (1887-1910): periodical devoted to hypnotism, which Charcot rehabilitated, publishing the main theoretical articles on this discipline
  • Journal du magnétisme (1845-1861): the collection reflects the renewed research on magnetism in the mid-19th century.
  • Revue photographique des hôpitaux de Paris (1869-1872). The first journal to present the applications of photography to medicine, particularly hospital medicine, through studies carried out at the Hôpital Saint Louis, and at the Salpêtrière.
  • Photographic Iconography of the Salpêtrière (1875-1879). The collection presents the observations of patients examined at the Salpêtrière, accompanied by photographs by Albert Londe, showing the various stages of the hysterical crisis.
  • Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpêtrière (New Iconography of the Salpêtrière) (1888-1918). The magazine is founded under the direction of Jean-Martin Charcot by Paul Richer, Gilles de la Tourette and Albert Londe, director of the photographic service. It brings together the collection of photographs taken at the Salpêtrière Hospital with the aim of objectively representing the pathologies observed. It takes over from the Iconographie Photographique de la Salpêtrière. The articles are illustrated with photographs, drawings and lithographs.
  • Archives of Neurology (1880-1907). Subtitled 'Revue trimestrielle des maladies nerveuses et mentales' (Quarterly review of nervous and mental diseases), the Archives de neurologie were published under the direction of Jean-Martin Charcot by Désiré Magloire Bourneville. The journal edits, groups, categorises and compares the body of work on nerve pathology. The Archives of Neurology became biennial in 1881.

Books from Charcot's library

  • Collection of atlases of anatomy and pathology of the nervous system, published during the 19th century. The iconography of these works is remarkable, starting with l'Atlas de Vicq d'Azyr, physician to King Louis XVI.
  • Treaties. This collection includes selected treaties from Charcot's library (such as l'Opera omnia... by Thomas Willis, 1682, with engravings), atlases and significant texts by Charcot's successors from the Salpêtrière interns' library (for example the Anatomy of the Nervous Centres by Déjerine).



Access to the collection