The Wellcome Library is contributing archives from its own collections to a joint project to digitise over 800,000 pages of archival material relating to psychiatric institutions, mental health organisations and individuals in the UK. The material dates from the 18th to the 20th centuries and includes:
- patient records such as registers and case notes
- administrative documents
- hospital staff data
- and publications produced by patients and staff.
New content will be added as it is digitised, and will be freely available here on the website and through the Library catalogue.
Digitised mental healthcare archives
Ticehurst House Hospital
Ticehurst House Hospital had a long history as an asylum and mental hospital based in the south of England. The hospital archive dates from 1787-1975.
More about the Ticehust House Hospital papers
The Retreat is based in York, in the north of England. It is historically one of the most important centres for the care and treatment of mental health patients. The archive dates from 1792-2000.
More about The Retreat papers
Gartnavel Royal Hospital
Gartnavel Royal Hospital was founded as the Glasgow Lunatic Asylum in 1814 and was the largest chartered asylum in the West of Scotland. The archive dates from 1811-2002.
More about the Gartnavel Royal Hospital papers
St Luke's Hospital
St Luke's Hospital was founded in 1750 to treat mental illness amongst the poor of London. The archive dates from 1750-2001.
More about the St Luke's Hospital papers
The Priory in Roehampton, London was established around 1873 as a Metropolitan Licensed House "for the reception of the insane". The Wellcome Library holds just one register of patients admitted to the hospital from 1905-1909. The register contains information on patient admissions with details of condition on entry and case notes on their progress. It also contains some inserted material such as death certificates and correspondence.
Read a blog post about the Priory patient register
Manor House Asylum
Manor House, later known as Chiswick House, was a private asylum in Chiswick, London. The asylum was run by three generations of the same Quaker family, the Tukes, for nearly 100 years. The archive spans 1870-1925.
More about the Manor House Asylum papers
Robina Addis (1900-1986) was one of the earliest qualified psychiatric social workers in Britain. She worked in child guidance and with mental health organistions such as the Mind, the mental health charity, and Save the Children. Her archive covers the period 1917-1986.
More about the Robina Addis papers
James Adam (1834-1908) was an asylum superindendent in several state asylums in the UK. Through his superintendent diaries for the period 1872-1888, we get a glimpse into the day to day workings of 19th century asylums.
More about the James Adam papers
Holloway Sanatorium for the Insane in Surrey, England opened in 1885 as a private hospital for the wealthy middle classes.The sanatorium remained a private hospital until it was taken over by the National Health Service in 1948. The archive covers the period from 1885-1926.
More about the Holloway Sanatorium papers
Camberwell House Asylum
Camberwell House Asylum in London first opened in 1846. It remained a private hospital until its closure in 1955. The archive dates from 1846-1920, with gaps.
More about the Camberwell House Asylum papers
William Walters Sargant
William Walters Sargant (1907-1988) was a prominent psychiatrist and a major force in British psychiatry in the 1950s and 1960s.
More about the William Walters Sargant papers
Crichton Royal Hospital
Crichton Royal Hospital was the last, and grandest, of Scotland's Royal asylums, founded in Dumfries in 1838. The digitised papers span from 1823-2008 and include records related to its founding.
More about the Crichton Royal Hospital papers
George Shuttleworth (1842-1928) was a British psychiatrist and asylum superintendent. He was an important figure in child psychiatry and the education of people with learning disabilities.
More about the George Shuttleworth papers
Mental After Care Association
The Association was set up in the late 19th century as a charity to support mental health patients leaving hospital for life in the wider community. The digitised papers span from 1886-1994.
More about the Mental After Care Association papers
Rudolf Karl Freudenberg
Rudolf Karl Freudenberg (1908-1983) was a psychiatrist and Physician Superintendent at Netherene Hospital in Surrey. The archive contains the papers of Rudolf and his wife Gerda from 1900-1984.
More about the Rudolf and Gerda Freudenberg papers