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Welcome to Asylum Projects,
A historic asylum wiki anyone can edit.
2,118 articles and counting
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Mission Statement


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The Mission

The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.

The Statement

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

Crownsville State Hospital


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The hospital for the negro insane of Maryland, now known as the Crownsville State Hospital, was created by an act of the General Assembly on April 11, 1910, which made an appropriation of $100,000 for the purchase of land and the erection of buildings. Sections of the act creating the hospital, Chapter 250, Laws of Maryland, 1910, provided that there should be established in the State of Maryland an institution for the detention and care of the negro insane of the state. It was expressly provided that the hospital should not be located in Baltimore City.

It was further provided that the Board of Managers of the hospital was to consist of the Governor, ex-officio; State Treasurer, Comptroller of the Treasury, and six other persons, to constitute a body corporate under the title of the " Hospital for the Negro Insane of Maryland," with the power to appoint the necessary officers and agents. The act named the following persons, who, together with the Governor, State Comptroller and State Treasurer, were to constitute the first Board of Managers of the hospital: Hugh H. Young and Thomas Parran, to serve from the date of the passage of the act until the first of May, 1912; John T. Daily and William L. Marbury, to serve until the first day of May, 1914; J. Harry Covington and Henry P. Mann, to serve until the first day of May, 1916. It was provided that the Board of Managers should be divided into three classes, one-third of whom should go out of office every two years; and the Governor should have power, in case of any vacancy occurring, to appoint a person or persons to fill such vacancy or vacancies for the balance of term of said class. It was further enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland "that the Board of Managers immediately proceed to the erection, construction and equipment of suitable buildings to care for such of the negro insane of the State of Maryland as may be sent to the said hospital from time to time, in accordance with the general provisions of the acts of the General Assembly of Maryland relative to the care and treatment of the insane of the state." Click here for more...

Featured Image Of The Week

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In 1894, the Legislature of the State of Maryland addressed the issue of overcrowding of the one state operated psychiatric hospital by creating a search committee charged with finding a site for the erection of the “Second Hospital for the Insane of Maryland”. This legislation was proposed by John Hubner of Baltimore County.

Featured Video

The following short video, created by the New York Times and Kassie Bracken, documents the cemetery and history of Willard State Hospital.

Recent Message Board Posts

Hello,

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.

Upcoming Events Calendar

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Asylum News   (news you can edit!)

February 7, 2016 Clarinda struggles to fill former hospital

The 128-year-old former mental health institute in the small southwest Iowa city of Clarinda isn’t your typical real estate opportunity, and so far no one is rushing to move in. More than seven months after the state closed the Clarinda Mental Health Institute, much of the sprawling building remains empty, including entire floors that haven’t been used in decades.

February 1, 2016 Efforts continue to preserve other parts of former Peoria State Hospital grounds

Christina Morris happily remembers Sunday morning breakfasts with her grandparents, followed by visits to the peaceful cemeteries on the grounds of the Peoria State Hospital, where some family members are buried. “My interest with the state hospital started when I was about 7 years old,” Morris said in a recent interview. “When I would come onto the grounds (my grandfather) would say that this was a place of special people. (By special) I thought he meant giants, because these buildings were so big and beautiful and immaculate to me. I just was enamored by how beautiful it was.”

January 7, 2016 That Time The United States Sterilized 60,000 Of Its Citizens

Not too long ago, more than 60,000 people were sterilized in the United States based on eugenic laws. Most of these operations were performed before the 1960s in institutions for the so-called “mentally ill” or “mentally deficient.” In the early 20th century across the country, medical superintendents, legislators, and social reformers affiliated with an emerging eugenics movement joined forces to put sterilization laws on the books.

January, 6, 2016 Pa. hires firm to develop plan for Harrisburg State Hospital site

Harrisburg, PA-The state has hired a Lancaster planning company to help it figure out what to do with the former Harrisburg State Hospital, which closed 10 years ago. Since closing in 2006, the hospital complex has housed state workers from the state police, Department of General Services and the Department of Human Services. It is now part of the larger DGS Annex property, which encompasses 303 acres across Harrisburg and Susquehanna Township.