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Revision as of 11:54, 30 November 2009

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Welcome to Asylum Projects,
A historic asylum wiki anyone can edit.
2,315 articles and counting
We need your help!
Editing ·Help

Contents · Categories · Featured content · A–Z index

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

Mental Health University Institute of Quebec


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The mid-19th century, the State had not yet decided to care for its most vulnerable citizens. Often, the mentally ill were confined in boxes or kept in prison. But things would soon change thanks to the intervention of a philanthropist from Maine, Dorothea Lynde Dix. In response, the first Quebec asylum, temporary asylum of Beauport, opens its doors on September 15, 1845. At the request of the Governor general, Lord Charles Metcalfe, James Douglas Charles - Jacques Frémont and Joseph Morrin, doctors keep and treat the mentally ill in a suitable institution.

In 1845, the first 23 patients are greeted in the oldest House of the Canada, the manor house erected in Beauport by Robert Giffard de Moncel, Lord and first physician of new France. Subsequently, asylum is installed in the former residence of judge Amable de Bonne. Enlarged and redesigned, the establishment of a capacity of 275 beds is incorporated in 1850, under the name of Quebec Lunatic Asylum. The establishment interested visitors and foreigners. The bourgeoisie of Québec in fact even his point rally. In 1865, became the asylum for the insane, Québec. For decades, the contracts are renewed without discussion between the Government and the owners. In 1883, the renewal raises a political debate. The future of asylum is played to the Government where a new intervention looks imminent. For ten years, a heated debate surrounds the psychiatric institutions. Click here for more...

Featured Image Of The Week

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Founded in 1873, Saint-Jean de Dieu Hospital was born from an agreement between the Government of Quebec and the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence, who were entrusted the task of clothing, lodging and caring of the mentally handicapped. Sister Thérèse de Jésus was the soul and director of this important healthcare facility in Quebec

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.