Images, Audio, and Video: Images

Mental Health Custodial Facilities, 1890-1975

This collection consists of photographs of patients, staff, and buildings at custodial facilities for the mentally ill. While most facilities depicted are from New York, some from other states are included as well. These photographs appear to have been gathered in preparation for a report on treatment of the insane in other states by the State Commissioner in Lunacy, under the Board of Charities' direction.  All images are taken from collections with no access restrictions.

Parts of descriptions are taken directly from original records, which may include language considered inappropriate or insensitive today. For more information about mental health in New York State, see the New York Mental Health Documentation Project.

The items in this collection were selected from the following record series:

A1994 Photographs of custodial facilities in New York and other states, ca. 1890-1915. New York (State). State Board of Charities.

A4228 Photographs of custodial institutions for the mentally deficient, ca. 1910-1914. New York (State). Commission to Investigate Provision for the Mentally Deficient.

B1480 "The Opal" patient newsletter, 1851-1860. New York (State). State Lunatic Asylum.

19131 Photographs of facilities, staff, and patients at mental health institutions, 1954-1975. New York (State). Office of Mental Health. Public Affairs Office.

Please note that only a portion of these series have been included in this digital collection. Other items exist that are not available online. For more information about the Mental Health Custodial Facilities collection or to learn about records not represented in the Digital Collections, please contact our office.

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