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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
Philadelphia State Hospital
Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry (PSH) was a psychiatric hospital in northeast Philadelphia, first city and later state-operated. During its tenure as a psychiatric hospital it was known by several names- Philadelphia State Hospital, Byberry State Hospital, Byberry City Farms, and the Philadelphia Hospital for Mental Diseases. However, most of the local population referred to it simply as "Byberry". Like many state facilities of the period, it was designated to care for individuals with various cognitive and psychiatric conditions, ranging from intellectual disabilities to forensic pathologies. When operational, it was located on a large sprawling campus within the Somerton neighborhood of northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Byberry stood in operation from 1903 until 1990, when it became nationally infamous for patient abuse, warehousing of human beings, and extreme neglect exhibited towards its many residents. At its zenith in the late 1960's, it was the largest state hospital in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and held a clinical population of over seven thousand psychiatric patients. Today, much of the physical site of the former state hospital has been demolished, and the land has been sold off to local redevelopers, who have transformed much of the campus into a residential community for seniors. Many of the former patients were discharged to: local boarding homes, community rehabilitative residences (CRR), long-term structure residences (LTSR), community living arrangements (CLA) and outpatient community clinics (BSU's). Acute patients from Byberry were transferred to other state psychiatric facilities, such as those at Norristown State Hospital and Haverford State Hospital. However, a large portion of those patients discharged had no disposition at release. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
Scranton State Hospital
was a 176 bed facility in Scranton, PA. It was demolished in 1991 to make room to build the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center.
The following is a documentary on both Laconia State School and also the people who had been sent there. This film was directed, produced, edited, and uploaded to YouTube by 1L Media.
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.