Come see the exhibit, Mental Health: A Complicated History, on display at Mervyn H. Sterne Library, just past the HUB desk on the entrance level. This exhibit discusses key themes such as the development of early diagnosis methods like the Rorschach inkblot test; the misdiagnosis of mental diseases for social or political reasons, such as in the case of female hysteria; an overview of PTSD and war-time trauma; the history of asylums, invasive treatments, psychoanalysis therapy, and more. Some of the unique UAB Libraries items featured include an electro-shock therapy machine (circa 1960s &70s); a first edition of the "Yellow Wallpaper" (1892), a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman highlighting the controversial “rest cure” to combat female neurasthenia; a letter written by a World War I veteran showing his struggle with shell shock; and many other historical items. For the most part, exhibit spans the 19th and 20th centuries, but there are some references to earlier and later treatment of mental illness to provide additional context.

The exhibit will be on display through November 7, 2022. For more information on the exhibit and the materials display, please contact Peggy Balch, Curator of the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library