Finding Aid for the Arthur Lerner collection on Poetry Therapy 0179

Finding aid prepared by Rebecca Hirsch
The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.
USC Libraries Special Collections
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189

Title: Arthur Lerner collection on Poetry Therapy
Collection number: 0179
Contributing Institution: USC Libraries Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 2.29 Linear feet 4 boxes
Date (inclusive): 1953-1997
Abstract: This collection contains publications pertaining to poetry therapy collected by Arthur Lerner, as well as a small amount of his correspondence. Lerner was one of the pioneers of the use of poetry therapy techniques as a form of psychological therapy.
creator: Lerner, Arthur

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], Arthur Lerner collection on Poetry Therapy, Collection no. 0179, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection contains published materials; researchers are reminded of the copyright restrictions imposed by publishers on reusing their articles and parts of books. It is the responsibility of researchers to acquire permission from publishers when reusing such materials. The copyright to unpublished materials belongs to the heirs of the writers. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Biographical Note

Arthur Lerner (1915-1998) was a psychologist who pioneered the use of poetry therapy techniques. Poetry therapy is the process whereby poetry is used to help psychological and psychiatric patients express themselves and to help awaken memories and feelings in the elderly. He received two doctorates from USC and lectured at UCLA and Los Angeles City College. Lerner also founded the Poetry Therapy Institute in Encino and organized the National Association for Poetry Therapy's certification process for poetry therapists.

Scope and Content

This collection contains publications pertaining to poetry therapy collected by Arthur Lerner, newspaper clippings, and the manuscript for Life Guidance through Literature. Also included in this collection is a small amount of Lerner's correspondence.


The Arthur Lerner collection on Poetry Therapy was donated to USC by Arthur Lerner.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Lerner, Arthur -- Archives
American poetry--20th century--Archival resources
Authors, American--20th century--Archival resources
Bibliotherapy--Archival resources
Poetry--Therapeutic use--Archival resources
Psychologists--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources

Box 1-2


Scope and Content

Series contains correspondence and clippings pertaining to poetry therapy. Series also contains copies of articles written by Arthur Lerner about poetry therapy and a scrapbook containing clippings and printed ephemera.
Box 2-3

Life Guidance Through Literature

Scope and Content

Series contains an edited draft, a copy of the edited draft, and page proofs for Life Guidance Through Literature, edited by Arthur Lerner and Ursula R. Mahlendorf and published by the American Library Association in 1991.
Box 4


Scope and Content

Series contains periodicals and books containing articles or poetry written by Arthur Lerner or articles on poetry therapy. Series also includes a VHS tape of a lecture Lerner gave at Hofstra University.