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State Hospital History

I keep running into links with historical information about various state hospitals, so I decided I would start a page to compile those links on.  I have always enjoyed history, so some of this is for my benefit but as with anything I compile online I figure if I’m looking for it, then someone else probably is as well, so in light of that I often choose to share my finds.  I’ll try to organize the links so they are sorted with subheadings that include the name of each state hospital listed, then the links within each subheading will be alphabetical, to make it a little easier for those who might want to come back to a link they found interesting.

Dixmont State Hospital (1862 – 1984)

Harrisburg State Hospital (1851 – ?)
Also called Pennsylvania State Hospital and was founded in part by the efforts of Dorothea Dix

Mayview State Hospital (? – 2008)

Warren State Hospital

Misc. Links

8 Responses

  1. My Grandfather was at Blair County Hospital for Mental Diseases. In the 1940s. I am looking for any records of that time. I am looking for pictures, or anything that would help to get information about him. His name was Frank Cancilla. Thank you.

  2. I am interested in the Warren State Hospital….would there be any documentation on the patients that were there around the 1920 to 1947 era? I had a great Aunt that I just found her death certificate and didn’t realize that she died in the Warren State Hospital…then they donated her body to the State Anatomical Board of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. They supposedly cremate after 2 years of research then bury them in one of their Cemeteries. I just wanted to try and get some records on her from the State Hospital in Warren , Pa. Where could you direct me to even find out anything….
    Thanks so much for your input.

    • I haven’t tried to get access to patient records, but since you are a family member, you might be able to submit a “right-to-know” request .. I just don’t know exactly what that entails or who you would contact. Maybe try contacting the hospital directly to see if they can tell you what you would need to do for the request. As for public documents, at that time period, patients were sometimes listed in newspapers as being comitted to a facility … Warren State was originally named “State Hospital for the Insane at Warren, PA” it was around 1920 that the name was changed to it’s present day “Warren State Hospital” I’ve been researching the history of Warren Stae, but it’s been very very rare that I see anything in any of the medical journals of the time that mention patients by name, everything I’ve seen int he way of documentation that is publiclayy accessible has listed a patieant a a number followed by an age and gender maybe some other infor about the person’s family life prior to hospitalization, but any names of patients I’ve found have more often than not come from notices or articles of some sort in a newspaper talking about what they were being comited to the state hospital for or simply saying the were “being removed to the state hospital” but even then I’ve onlyuncovered maybe a dozen patient names that way, compared to the larger number of patients who I have only a number for …. as I said though, as a family member you might be able to get some information from her records if you do a right to know request I think directly to the hospital, but 1920 is a stretch in terms of there still being anything in exsistance in terms of records its a gamble.

    • I was a patient there for 31 days my name is Phil

  3. Some other libraries have it too. Do you know what date it was published?

  4. Does anyone know of any books on warren or polk hospitals
    I am intrested in life and treatments there.

    • This is a book I’ve been looking at about Warren State Hospital …..

      “Warren State Hospital 1880-1980 A Psychiatric Centennial” by Fred R. Hartz

      The problem is that its out of print, and the only place I’ve been able to get my hands on it at is the Warren Public Library’s Reference room. I’m sure there are oother copies out there I just don’t know where to point you in finding it, but it is very good from what I’ve read so far.

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