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The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.
This site is dedicated to the history of asylums in all forms. The term of asylum is applied to not only what is commonly thought of: mental hospitals, but can also be applied to sanatoriums, state training schools, reform schools, almshouses, and orphanages. These institutions have and continue to play a major part in today's society.
Everyone throughout the United States and in many other countries has in one way or another felt the touch of these institutions. These places have both directly and indirectly affected people and their families. They have shaped lives and created many popular myths about them.
With all that in mind, this site was created to help in the historical research of any institutions that can be classified as an asylum. It was created for both serious researchers, those who are doing genealogical research, and people with an interest in asylums.
Featured Article Of The Week
Norwich State Hospital
Experts in the psychological field would never have predicted we would medicate people rather than have them in controlled environments. The Norwich State Hospital opened its doors in 1904 to the insane with ninety-five patients in one building on over 100 acres.
One of the hospital’s first superintendents believed that mechanical restraint of patients was preferable to medication and believed in hydrotherapy as a treatment measure. The Board of the hospital quickly realized the population was exceeding what was safe. In 1905, two patient buildings were built with a third opening in 1907.
Thirteen buildings were erected for patients during the next eight years and in 1913 with a population of 998, an administration building, three cottages for physicians, a carpenter and maintenance shop, a main kitchen, garage, laboratory, staff house, and an employees’ club house had been erected and the inebriate farm and the Colony had been established.
Seven new buildings were built between 1920 and 1930 and another building was purchased for patients’ use. In 1929, the hospital peaked with 1,115 patients while in 1930 the average daily census reached 2,422. At this point, in addition to new patient facilities, two more cottages were erected for physicians, a female employees’ home, a paint shop, a greenhouse, a superintendent’s residence, and two garages were built. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
After the site was chosen
building operations progressed sufficiently to permit the corner-stone of the Hospital to be laid June 20, 1867. On May-day, 1868, the center and one wing of the main building were ready for the accommodation of patients. During the succeeding six years the other three wings were added, and in 1874 the Hospital was considered to be complete, having beds for 450 patients.
The following hour long film created by CBS in 1978 entitled "Anyplace But Here" follows a few people from their time in Creedmoor State Hospital to their discharge out into the community.
Recent Message Board Posts
In this space you normally would see our forum. This had been a hold over from earlier days before we had a Facebook page. Just prior to our server issues regular users had been barely using the forum with the majority of new posts from anonymous users asking genealogy questions or spammers. The old forum software does not work with our new version while the new forum software does not carry over old comments to the new forum. As a result, the forum will be discontinued in favor of our Facebook page. If you have questions or comments you can ask them there.
Asylum Projects Facebook Page
If you have genealogical question here is an information page to help you.