Research

Record of commitments

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of transcripts of orders of admission and medical certificates (commitment papers) for patients admitted to Willard State Hospital. Records include patient's name; date admitted; and residence. A copy of the medical certificate includes the physicians’ observations and opinions concerning the patients' behavior, mental condition, and cause of insanity. Records are restricted.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
1 cu. ft. (1 volume)
Inclusive Dates:
1883-1886
Series Number:
B1465

Arrangement

Roughly chronological by date of commitment.

Scope and Content Note

This volume contains transcripts of orders of admission and medical certificates (commitment papers) for patients admitted to Willard State Hospital. Each page of the volume contains one record consisting of a printed form with information. The record for each patient is comprised of several parts. The first portion of the form supplies information concerning the patient including name; date admitted; and residence. Information is then given concerning the person delivering the patient to the asylum and the person ordering the commitment, including names; places of residence; offices; and occupations.

The Order of Admission section includes a statement of which county is chargeable for the patient's support; that the patient is a lunatic; names and signatures of two physicians qualified as Medical Examiners certifying under oath to the patient's insanity; signature of the superintendent of the poor of the county ordering that the patient be taken to the asylum and authorizing and requiring the superintendent to receive, detain, and maintain the patient at the expense of the county until legally discharged; signature; and date.

A copy of the Medical Certificate signed by the physicians include their observations and opinions concerning the patients' behavior, mental condition, and cause of insanity. The record concludes with a statement certifying that the patient was duly admitted, with date and signature of hospital staff member. Some records add information concerning the patient's subsequent discharge (usually "not recovered") with date and signature of staff member.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Restricted to protect personal privacy.Access permitted under certain conditions upon application and approval by the State Archives.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series B1429, Medical Certificate of Lunacy (Commitment) Papers, 1869-1897, contains the originals on which these transcripts are based.

Other finding aids

Alphabetical name index at beginning of volume.

Custodial History

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

Access Terms

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