Following the latest government advice, we remain temporarily closed until further notice. Find out more on the Wellcome Collection website.
The library at Wellcome Collection
More search options
Portrait of Dr Alexander Newington by a patient. Ticehurst House Hospital casebook, 1891.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London
The Retreat in York is historically one of the most important institutions for the care and treatment of mental health patients.
It was founded by the Society of Friends and opened in 1796. The Retreat was a pioneer in less restrictive methods of treatment, and influenced the development of care in the United Kingdom, North America and elsewhere.
The archive spans 1792-2000 and includes administrative, financial, staff and patient records. In addition to bound volumes, photographs and loose papers, a number of paintings have also been digitised. Patient records from 1920 onwards are excluded from the digitisation project.
The original papers may be consulted at the Borthwick Institute for Archives at University of York.
The digitised Retreat archive is available under a Creative Commons NonCommercial licence. The material is free to download and reuse for non-commercial purposes only, so long as attribution is given to the Borthwick Institute for Archives.
Browse the full list of papers from The Retreat
Read about gardening and sports activities amongst staff and inmates at the Retreat in York.
Explore the collections by author, genre and topic
Find archival material in the Library