The authors underline the importance nowadays of historical studies in psychiatry. They however highlight also the complexity of such a discipline in Italy (as it evolves between new laws - that influence daily actions - and projects promoting the psychiatric cultural heritage). The authors then describe the experience built in Reggio Emilia, a town greatly involved in the history of psychiatric hospitals and their closure. As early as 1875, Carlo Livi founded the first core of the local museum. The authors analyze thereafter the intricacy of the development of the present museum, now housed in a historic building that exhibits a rich collection of psychiatric artifacts and documents. They finally discuss the curators’ choices involving museology, history and ethics.
Keywords: History of psychiatry, Reggio Emilia, museology, art brut, Carlo Livi, psychiatric hospital.
Gaddomaria Grassi, Elisabetta Farioli, Chiara Bombardieri, Why talk about psychiatry and its history, today. The Museum of the History of Psychiatry in Reggio Emilia in "RIVISTA SPERIMENTALE DI FRENIATRIA" 2/2013, pp. 75-94, DOI:10.3280/RSF2013-002007