Chiropractic students here at Life University (Life U) learn pretty early on about the distinctive ‘Green Books’ that depict the early history and philosophy of the chiropractic profession. But those new to the chiropractic landscape may want to educate themselves on exactly what ‘The Green Books’ are and why they are important.

As described by the David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library Green Books Overview, the first Green Books were created by chiropractic founding father D.D. Palmer in 1906 and served as the first chiropractic textbook collection, added to in number by B.J. Palmer and faculty until 1963. Most of the confirmed Green Books recognized by Palmer College of Chiropractic in its master list bear a recognizable and attractive dark green binding. Interestingly enough, the saga of which texts truly qualify as a ‘Green Book’ and which don’t is a source of contention and confusion that has sparked decades of political and philosophical debate in Chiropractic, further delved into in Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor’s magazine article titled simply “The Green Books.”

For the sake of brevity, we will focus on the Palmer’s list. This list contains 39 numbered volumes and two unnumbered editions. The textbooks cover a wide range of chiropractic focuses, including philosophy, adjustments, techniques, principles, chemistry, research and much more.

For Life U students wishing to access these valuable texts, Life U’s Drs. Sid E. & Nell K. Williams Library houses a special collection of all the official Green Books in print. Materials in the Special Collections room are for in-library use with supervision. Visit the AV Center for access. A Life U ID (Eagle Card) is required for current students and employees. Graduates of Life U will need an alumni card and photo ID for access.

Digital versions are also available for many of the texts by selecting a specific title from the library’s Green Books page and selecting “View eBook.”

The purchase and collection of printed Green Books is something of a niche pastime among some chiropractors and general enthusiasts. There is even an active “Palmer Chiropractic Green Book Collectors” public Facebook page with over a thousand members, where collectors compare and contrast the best selections from their favorite editions. It is worth noting that for those on a budget, collecting a complete set of printed books may prove cost prohibitive. Consider using university resources and asking around for alternative means of access to a desired text, because of course, the knowledge proves more essential than any pretty binding.



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