Tag: hospitals

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  • Diary of an asylum superintendent


    The digitised diaries of asylum superintendent Dr James Adam (1834-1908) offer a rare view of life inside a late 19th century mental health asylum for the poor. Adam was praised for his energetic and humane approach to the role at… Continue reading

  • A hundred years of caring for the insane


    Edward Francis Tuke (ca. 1776-1846) founded the Manor House Asylum as a private lunatic establishment in Chiswick, London in 1837 with his wife, Mary. Though private asylums had been around since the 17th century, few dealt with patients with as… Continue reading

  • The Priory: an elusive asylum


    On 26 February 1909 the Coroner’s verdict in the case of the Roman Catholic priest Father George Stacey read as follows: He died from cardiac failure consequent upon exhaustion from having plucked his eyeballs from their sockets, his death being… Continue reading

  • The great and the good visit the asylum


    Philippa Smith from London Metropolitan Archives introduces the St Luke’s Hospital papers, the latest collection to go online from our mental health archives digitisation project. When asked by the Wellcome Library whether we had an archive of a private asylum… Continue reading

  • The care of pauper lunatics in Glasgow


    Gartnavel Royal Hospital is one of the institutions in our project to digitise mental health archives selected from across the UK, and make them freely available through the Wellcome Library catalogue. As the Gartnavel records begin to appear online, Archivist … Continue reading

  • Setting the record straight: maniac or sick man?


    Researcher Jon Mitchell searched the Retreat archives in pursuit of John Summerland, an asylum patient whose story figures in histories of madness and mental health. What he found was a lost reputation. Like so many undergraduates, the first time I came… Continue reading

  • Archivists in the asylum


    It’s not often that archivists get to visit the source of their historical records. Archivists at the Borthwick Institute for Archives got to do just that on a trip to former mental hospital, the Retreat, in York. The Borthwick Institute… Continue reading

  • The case of Miss Banks


    As 1909 drew to an end, Miss Beatrice Mary Jane Banks was in her early thirties and living in East Sussex. Her routine sounds agreeable: she made her home in a country house on the outskirts of a small village,… Continue reading

  • A Victorian lunatic asylum begins to reveal its secrets


    Dr Richard Aspin pursues the dramatic account by a Victorian barrister admitted to a lunatic asylum in 1875 in the newly digitised casebooks of Ticehurst House Hospital. “I was therefore ‘removed,’ half-dying, in a state of semi-consciousness, I can scarcely… Continue reading

  • The Hip Experience!


    Artist Mary Rouncefield relates the story of her hip replacement operation in words and pictures. All of her compelling watercolour and ink drawings are available in Wellcome Images. At home indoors for a couple of weeks after the operation, I… Continue reading