History & Evolution of Card Repertory

booksDr Sanil Kumar

Boennighausen’s Repertory of Antipsoric Remedies started the era of repertories. Eventhough th repertories were aimed at minimising the labor for finding the similimum, however in a case with lot of symptoms it was a matter of hours to find remedy with the repertories in a plain paper method. This fact made dread to many for not to use repertories. Later, shortcut methods were adopted to solve this problem lik eleimination method and thumb index method. It was at this time that many pioneers started to contemplate on idea of putting most commonly used general symptoms and particular symptoms on a piece of paper so that when a particular case came with symptoms corresponding to the paper, it would be easier to just arrange them in systemic manner and to know the remedy running through them. This would save lot of time as well as labor of doing paper work. The first work done in this direction was by Dr. W.J.Guernsey, which was based on Boenninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocket Book.

1) In 1888 William Jefferson Guernsey prepared the first card Repertory based on Boenninghausen’s works i.e. Guernsey’s Boenninghausen’s slips published by Globe press, Philadelphia. Before that in 1885, he prepared a card Repertory for Diphtheria, was printed in Homoeopathic physician in 25 pages.

Guernsey’s Boenninghausen’s slips was having 2467 cards plus 57 pages book, a box 16.5”x19.5”x6.50” compartments each containing 49 slips 13.5”x1.5” wide. Each slip of paper represented a single rubric, and had printed upon it, in a column, the grades of the remedies in alphabetical order. The first slip contained a columnar list of all the remedies. When the slips were all lined up next to the first slip the grading 1,2,3,4 would line up with the remedy names. It was available for the profession in 1892.

After words Dr. H.C.Allen worked on Guernsey’s cards and added more remedies, which was known as Allen’s – Boenninghausen’s cards.

2) In 1912 Dr. Margaret Tyler prepared a punched card Repertory but her Teacher Dr. Kent did not allow her to publish as those cards were based on Kent’s work.

3) In 1913 Welch and Houston put out loose punched cards Repertory, and was based on Kent’s 134 rubrics.

4) In 1922 Field prepared costly Repertory, ‘Symptom Register” published privately on 254 pages book, 6460 cards (rubrics) and almost 383 remedies were covered. Remedies and rubrics are considered from Boger-Boenninghausen’s, as well as Kent’s Repertory. Dr. Field were the first to code the names of the remedies into numbers. This card repertory consists of 2 parts:

1st part: Book consists of rubrics and remedy codes

2nd part: Four wooden boxes filled with cards.

Each card consists of the rubrics with the rubric code at the top. The remedies were coded in 45 columns and 9 rows from 1 to 378 in order and from 379 to 405 numbers that is, first three columns hich are given at the starting or the right hand side of the cards. The remedies of that particular rubric or card are represented in holes which are punched above the remedy code number. For easy reference and to keep back the cards the card number is mentioned at the back of the card also.

The cards are made in 3 columns. Green, white, and light orange. These are being doen in order for easy search as well as for easily keeping back. Also a cut can be seen at the top of each card at the right hand side of the card. This is to keep the cars in position in order to find the unorderly cards.

5) In 1928 Dr. Boger’s famous card Repertory, General Analysis, was published with 17 pages, 304 cards and App.224 remedies. This card Repertory was first printed in book form, for pocket reference and later transferred to Punched cards to insure greater facility in use.

Symptoms are classified into three group – first fundamental constitutional, or life time effects, second the present display which is a fresh or acute outburst of the deeper lying tendencies; and third the modalities.

Although Boger’s cards were basically based on the earlier writings, but for the construction of these cards it seems that he even considered other available repertories of his time like Kent’s Repertory and Boenninghausen’s works.

The card looks almost similar like that of Sankaran’s card, which is displayed at the Sankaran’s section. Only difference is that the card index number is seen after the remedy column. In 3 columns the numbers are given and doted or shaded depending on the card index number similar like that of Kishore’s card index where it can be seen at the starting of the cards.

6) In 1948, Dr. Marcoz Jimenez introduced practical Homeopathic Repertory in colored and perforated cards. This Repertory was published at Maxica, 126 pages. The Repertory contains 552 cards and 480 remedies. Each card is divided into 480 little squares. Each square was numbered and represented a remedy. Whichever drug was in  agiven rubric that particular square representing drug was punched.

Gradation: 3 marks – square coloured red, 2 marks – square coloured blue, 1 mark – square uncoloured. Based on rubrics from Kent’s repertory.

Different sections have different colors; the mind section is on yellow cards, while the mouth, ear, nose, and throat are on blue cards. Once the required cards are given in a given case were selected, the cards were superimposed and held against light. Perforations common to all cards were noted and the drugs representing the perforated squares were considered fo r further differentiation to reach similimum.

This comes in a cedar box along with cards is a pocket manual written in Spanish and English, which explains method of evaluation of symptoms, process and techniques of repertory.

8) In 1950 Dr. J. G. Weiss and Dr. R. H. Farley prepared and published a punch spindle card Repertory Philadelphia, PA. Farley’s card Repertory has 190 cards of general symptoms of the mind and body, and covers app. 274 remedies. Based on Kent’s Repertory, Boger’s addition to Kent, H.C.Allen’s nosodes and fever, Hering’s Condensed Materia Medica, Clarke’s Dictionary.

18 months of constant work of punching the cards by Remington Raud and Co’s machine. The limitation of this method with the present machine was that it will accommodate a standard size card that can ues less than 300 remedies and when over 150 cards are used it becomes difficult to line the cards up accurately. Joseph.G.Weiss of Detroit suggested the way of attaching the cards to spindle.

9) Dr. P. Sankaran published card Repertory with 392 cards and 292 medicines. Date of the publications of second edition in the preface gives, 10thApril 1958. According to acknowledgement first edition may be published in the year 1955. This work is based on Dr. C. M. Bogers Repertory and synoptic key to M.M. for the many additions; Dr. J. H. Clarke’s Dictionary of the practical M.M. has been mainly consulted. Among the other books drawn upon were Boericke’s pocket manuals of Homoeopathic Materia Medica, Kent’s lecture on Materia Medica and Kent’s Repertory. This Repertory is dedicated to A Himalayan Homoeopath Dr. C. M. Boger. The size of the card is about 7.4 x 2.2.

On the left hand upper corner a space has been left for the number of the card and name of the rubric. This space is staling 3×8 = 24 rooms and at the last perpendicular line 8 spaces have been left blank.

Thus the remedies covered are 27×12 (3×8+8) =324-34=292. the book & cards are kept in a box, and cards are guarded by 26 extra big size cards with A, B, C, D, etc. about number of remedies author write’s, ‘292 number of remedies covers the majority of the cases met with in ordinary practice’. In each card, punches are made below those drugs, which cover the symptoms printed on that particular card, in the top left-hand corner. To some extent, the grading of the remedies indicated in the index by the use of different types may also help in deciding.

The grading is as follows: –

  • Capital – first grade.
  • Bold – second grade.
  • Ordinary – third grade. 

10) In 1959, Dr.Jugal Kishore published card Repertory with 3497 cards in the beginning, but now number increased up to 10,000 cards and more than 600 remedies with provision for another 200 remedies.

Different editions: –
First Edition: In preface to Ist edition Dr. Jugal Kishore writes that, “This Repertory has been specially compiled and is the result of a labor of nearly seven years”. A large range of remedies have been selected for inclusion in the repertory as many as 579.

The numbers of rubrics are 3497.

The Repertory is so constructed that a practitioner can use it either according to the Boenninghausen’s method or Kentian method. Further he writes only those who are familiar with the philosophy behind the construction of our repertories would find these cards useful. The Rubrics are arranged in alphabetical order.

Second edition: Here Dr. Jugal Kishore says ‘I was not satisfied with the first and pilot edition of this card Repertory because it could not meet certain exigencies of Reportorial analysis.

For the addition in this edition he has used Dr. James Stephenson Homoeo. M.M., Hahnemannian proving and Repertory 1924 – 1959 as a source book, also other remedies have been introduced from other reliable sources like the British Homoeopathic journal.

The number of rubrics increased up to 9063 and the modalities of particulars, which were absent in the last edition, have been included in 2nd edition. Up to this edition there were introductions to all topics of Repertory. The name of Rubrics i.e. those in the first edition, remain practically the same and are indicated in italics.

Third edition: This edition will, however, incorporate 129 new rubrics and 102 new remedies. This edition is supposed to be the complete card Repertory with approximately 10,000 cards.

11) In 1969 George Broussalian published card Repertory in France, based on Kents Repertory 1861 cards and 640 remedies. Gradation is of Kent’s style.

          It consists of 2 parts,

1. Manual containing 50 pages

2. Box – containing 1861 computer cards. This 1861 cards are concerned with Psychism (602 cards), General symptoms (530 cards), Sleep, Dreams, Sexuality, Discharges and Suppressions. 80 cards represent Stomach includesrubrics like desires and aversions, appetite etc. remaining 649 cards represent other rubrics.

12) Recently in 1984 Dr.S.M.Sharma prepared and published his card Repertory based on Kent’s Work with 3000 cards and 400 remedies. Dr. Shashi Mohan Sharma’s card Repertory is based on Kent’s Repertory published by B. Jain Publication in 1984. Like Jugal Kishores Card Repertory, in this Repertory also majority of the General Rubrics are considered from Kent’s Repertory.

The card of S.M. Sharma’s Card Repertory is approx. 3½ x 7½. Author has selected 400 remedies for Inclusion in this card Repertory. The numbers of Rubrics (Cards) are 3,000 arranged alphabetically. Each card is designed same as Jugal Kishores card except those 4 vertical columns which are reserved for rubric number.

Remedies are arranged in 40 vertical columns i.e. 40 x 10 = 400. First number starts from 10 and the vertical columns are numbered from 0 to 9. At the bottom the serial number of horizontal rooms are recorded from 1 to 40. Remedies are punched in the rooms, which are indicated for recorded rubric on the top.

13) In 1981, Dr.B.S.Hatta’s card Repertory was published, N. Delhi, with 602 cards. Dr. Bhag Singh Hatta who is Homoeopathic Physician at New Delhi, Central Government Health Scheme, Member of International Homoeopathic League and also Institute of Clinical Research, Nagpur has prepared this Repertory in 1981 and published by M/s. N. K. Traders, New Delhi.

Hatta’s Card Repertory has more about 602 cards, constructed in three bulky volumes, each volume having about 200 and odd cards. The card is punched initially for all the medicines indicated. Further these are marked on the basis of gradation according to KENT and BOGER repertories. Every card has about 220 most commonly indicated drugs printed on it. Cards are printed in four different colors and using different colors marks them.

(a) Generalities in white (Cards No.1 to 440)

(b) Mentals in YELLOW (cards Nos. 441 to 508)

(c) Modalities:

: Aggravation in RED (card Nos. 509 to 574)

: Amelioration in GREEN (cards Nos. 575 to 602)

And another special feature is that the MIASM to which that particular symptom or rubric belong is also punched at the bottom. This will facilitate physician to arrive at the miasmatic and block removing remedies for the case.

The KEY, which is supplied, contains the list of all the rubrics alphabetically arranged with necessary cross-references. This makes it an easy Repertory for use. After the rubrics are selected from a case, the relevant cards are taken out from the box with the help of the key. They are put one above the other. The punched hole is to be then viewed against a board light. The remedy or remedies suiting for that particular group of rubric will be seen with the help of the punch, which pass through, if by chance one Card interposes in between and does not allow through and through, than that card may be taken out. In this procedure, it is a very common experience to get at least two or three similar remedies. Further selection for similimum may be done on the grade marked on the top of each remedies i.e.

O – Central punch below remedy is called Master punch.

Grading mark: – In one rubric Card the indicated remedy punched or marked on 3rd place means that this medicine has qualified for 3 marks.    E.g. -1st Place indicate 1 Mark qualified O @ O

2nd Place indicate 2 Mark qualified 1 2 3

Bry    Master Punch O

This grading mark will help the Physician for counting qualified marks of each remedy and then having higher marks than that remedy may be our similimum for the case. Final selection may be done with the help of MATERIA MEDICA.

14) Dr.Patwardhan’s card Repertory published his card Repertory. Dr. A. B. Patwardhan from PUNE, Maharashtra prepared card Repertory called “Homoeo. Card Deck” is the card Repertory consists of two parts –

1) Cards.  2) Booklet.

There are 1245 cards in his card Repertory. For rubrics 299 remedies have been made use of Punches representing remedies for the particular rubric are present. A serial number of the card is printed on the right hand corner. On the top of each card is printed the rubrics or symptoms the card represents. There are thus 1245 rubrics represented separately on 1245 cards.

The punches beyond 76 up to 79 denote the serial number of the card and may not be confused for the indications of any remedy. With the ‘Card-deck’, standard card bearing all 299 remedies at their proper place are supplied which can be superimposed and the names of the Remedies at their respectable places can be easily read out. One side of the card is printed while the other side is blank.

15) Dr.S.P.Roy’s card Repertory-

SPIRO – Shankar Prasad Integrated Rotary.

Shankar Prasad Roy, Bhubneshwar, Orissa published A Homoeopathic pocket Calculator based on the punched card system in 1996.This card Repertory is associated with book named ‘Effective Homoeopathic Prescribing with introduction to SPIRO.’ This book contains all practical related topics and also even details of SPIRO. Basically, this card Repertory is useful in large no. of acute conditions. It contains proven and usable technique on how to achieve miraculous cures routinely.

‘SPIRO’ was prepared by keeping acute cases in view and by considering economy; this is a small card Repertory only with 292 cards. According to Author, these cards are enough to treat 80% acute and 60% chronic cases.

Preparation of this Repertory as a tool is based on following Fundamentals –

  1. Few Rubrics /Cards are enough.
  2. Few Remedies are enough. -(About 70 Remedies).
  3. Remedies are divided into two groups.
  4. Polychrest – 44   2) Local -23
  5. Only clinically important Rubrics are included.
  6. Lowest grade Remedies are excluded in large rubrics.

Arrangement of spiro: –

At present The SPIRO Homoeopathic calculator has five bunches of punched cards. Those series are abbreviated as follows –

  • CD – Common cold
  • CF – Cough
  • DR – Diarrhoea
  • FV – Fever
  • GN – Generalities

Cards are of 130-mm.x 90-mm sizes. Each card has name of rubric and code number. Remedies are arranged horizontally. In all there are 67to70 Remedies. List of local remedies changes with each series i.e., CF, DR, FV, GN etc. All series has different remedies according to condition.

The area around the punched hole is color coated for instant reading.

First grade remedies are colored red denoting 3 marks. Second grade remedies are colored violet denoting 2 marks. And third grade remedies are left uncolored denoting 1 mark.

16) Dr. S. S. ADI’S CARD – (called Master cards) –

  • Dr.S.S.Adi is a senior Repertory Teacher from Belgaum, Karnataka.
  • Published on 223rd birth anniversary of Dr.Hahnemann in the year 1979.
  • There are only 100 cards and 45 numbers of remedies
  • Based on Dr.J.T.Kent’s Repertory. Size of card —14×10 cm.

Whatever be the future developments in sophisticated computerization, there is a lurking fear in our minds that card Repertories in above forms may not be available easily but one should make the use of these mechanical aided repertories like card indices in our day-to-day work.

Dr Sanil Kumar BHMS,MD(Hom)
Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology
Govt. Homeopathic Medical College. Calicut.10. India
Email : drsakumkumar@yahoo.co.in

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