Personnel records

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

This series consists of personnel records created at Willard Asylum for the Insane (later Willard State Hospital). Included are applications for employment; reference letters; information about appointments, terminations; resignations; promotions and deaths; and correspondence about benefits and the retirement system. The volume listing kitchen workers also includes cookie recipes.
3.5 cu. ft. (19 volumes)
Inclusive Dates:
Series Number:


Arranged by type of record.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of a variety of personnel records created at Willard Asylum for the Insane (later Willard State Hospital).

Each Civil Service application for the position of attendant (1899-1901) consists of two double-sided printed sheets. Information for each applicant includes date of application; full name of applicant; address; citizenship; date and place of birth; marital status and number of children; height and weight; present occupation; previous asylum or hospital experience; use of alcohol; dictation and arithmetic problems; and references. Reference letters and notes by hospital administration staff are frequently included. A few resignation letters are also present.

A volume of personnel records (1886-1901) provides the following information in paragraph form for each employee: date employed; prior place of residence; age; country of nativity; marital status; height; weight; previous occupation; musical instruments played; position assigned; salary; and date of termination of employment. Reasons for leaving service are usually given. A note at the beginning of the volume states that it began to be kept in 1886 but records information from 1869. Last entries for terminations of employment extend into the 1940s, but most information covers the period 1886-1901.

A fragment of an earlier volume (1877-1885) lists employee names (M-R) and briefly records circumstances of employment terminations.

Two later volumes (1925-1962) are divided into sections for personnel appointments, resignations, promotions and changes, and deaths. Information for each employee is listed in columnar form and includes name; position; date; salary; date notice sent; and remarks.

A volume entitled "Letters Received and Answered From The State Wide Pension System" (1937-1945) includes copies of cover letters of hospital employees submitting applications for membership in the state retirement system; applications for change of beneficiaries; letters concerning contribution rates; letters concerning disability benefit payments; requests to make payment to receive credit for prior service; and other correspondence concerning rules for membership, contributions, and benefits.

A small volume contains names of approximately 50 cooks, assistant cooks, and kitchen helpers. The volume also contains cookie recipes.

A small, undated, ruled book, apparently listing employee identification numbers, is contained in this series. It shows consecutive, noncontinuous, seven-digit, stamped numbers and handwritten names, sometimes with "adm" in parentheses following the name.

B1460-02: This accretion consists primarily of correspondence with the state retirement system (1925-1950) administered by the Office of the State Comptroller. Correspondence topics concern applications for membership, monthly contribution rates, dates of membership, changes in beneficiaries, requests for credit for prior service, arrangements to pay arrears, and applications for retirement. Also in the accretion are employees civil service ratings (1918-1930), a waiting list of potential employees (1948-1949), selective service status of employees (1943), and accident reports (1953).

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series B1467, Employee Hospital Records (1926-1928), contains additional information on employees.

Other finding aids

There is an alphabetical index for one volume of personnel records (1886-1901).

Container list.

Custodial History

These records were transferred to the State Archives from Willard Psychiatric Center at the time of its closure in April, 1995.

B1460-02: These records were transferred to the State Archives in 2002.

Access Terms

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