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Samuel Hahnemann’s most important work was his Organon der Heilkunst (Organon of the Medical Art), which established homeopathy. Hahnemann revised the work several times. The 5th edition, published in 1833, was the last edition published in Hahnemann’s lifetime.
The UCSF Library holds Hahnemann’s own copy of the 5th edition, in which he wrote notes and made revisions for the 6th edition. Hahnemann’s notes are written in the margins and on facing pages in the 5th edition, with longer notes on paper interleaved throughout the volume.
Hahnemann completed his work on the 6th edition in 1842, a year before his death. Publication of the 6th edition was delayed until 1921. After Hahnemann’s death in 1843, his widow had a hand-written copy made of Hahnemann’s volume and notes.
In 1920, James Ward and William Boericke, American homeopaths based in San Francisco, purchased both the interleaved volume and the manuscript copy. Richard Haehl, the German homeopath who would later bring the 6th edition to publication, acted as their agent. Haehl used the hand-written copy as the basis for the 6th edition, published in Germany in 1921. The interleaved volume was sent to Boericke in San Francisco, and he used it as the basis of the 1922 English-language edition.
We are pleased to present digital surrogates of both Hahnemann’s volume and the manuscript copy on this website.
The UCSF Library’s rare book collection houses the library of the Homeopathic Foundation of California – over 1,200 rare books, pamphlets, and journals. All of the books are listed in the UCSF Library Catalog. Users can search by author, title, subject, keyword, or call number. To see a listing of all of the rare homeopathy books, search on call number and type in "homeopathy".
Archives and Manuscripts
California Homeopathic Institutions Records, MSS 91-5 includes records of:
UCSF Library Staff
Kathleen Cameron, Manager, Digital Content Development
Lisa Mix, Manager, Archives & Special Collections
Zach Silveira, Digital Book Design
Digital Photography of the Organon
Two Cat Digital
Marlise Kuert Kolb