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Green Books: Overview

Green Books

This guide is about the Green Books.

Green Books

Opening Hours

The Special Collections & Archives department is located in the David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library on Palmer's Main Campus.

Access to materials and reference assistance is provided in the Reading Room on the first floor of the Library (L103).

Regular hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hours during term breaks are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m.

Please call (563) 884-5893, or email for assistance.



This guide is on the Green Books. You will find resources which give a general overview of the Green Books, and then each volume is highlighted with descriptions of the different editions.The guide is divided into the following pages:

  • Overview
  • Resources about the Green Books
  • Volumes 1-29
  • Volumes 32-39
  • Unnumbered Volumes


The Green Books are considered the "Holy Grail" of chiropractic and are aptly named because of their distinctive dark green binding. The Green Books, created by D.D. Palmer in 1906, were the first chiropractic textbooks. The Green Books continued with B.J. Palmer and his faculty until 1963.

However, it is important to note that D.D. Palmer's The Science of Chiropractic (1906) was not the first ever chiropractic textbook. He was beaten to it by one of his students, a 1901 Palmer School of Chiropractic graduate by the name of Solon Langworthy. He published Modernized Chiropractic (1906) a month or two before D.D. Palmer, with his faculty members, Smith and Paxson who had opened a competing school called the American School of Chiropractic in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1903. Nevertheless, D.D. Palmer trained these students and laid the foundation for the chiropractic profession.

The Green Books are very important to the chiropractic profession because they document the thoughts and theories of D.D. Palmer, the founder, and B.J. Palmer, the developer of chiropractic. These books are studied in order to trace the evolution of the profession and to aid present chiropractors in keeping to the original principles of the chiropractic discipline.

End papers

Decorative end paper

The majority of the early volumes contain a distinctive green vine patterned end paper, which was discontinued in 1947.

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