Records of commitments

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 petitions, certificates of lunacy, and orders of commitment (commitment papers) for patients admitted to Utica State Hospital. Information includes name and residence, information showing existence of insanity; and medical examiners statements concerning alleged insanity. Records are restricted.
0.6 cu. ft. (5 volumes)
Inclusive Dates:
Series Number:


B1543-99:Chronological by date of admission (petitions for persons not admitted are in Volume 3).

Scope and Content Note

B1543-77: These volumes contain petitions, certificates of lunacy, and orders of commitment (commitment papers) for patients admitted to Utica State Hospital from November 1896 to July 1897. Each record consists of a printed five part multi-sheet form with information filled in.

The first portion of the form consists of very detailed instructions and requirements for completing the form. The second portion of the form (petition) addresses an application to a local justice or court judge showing name of judge; court; name and residence of petitioner; their relation to alleged insane person; name and residence of insane person; facts or information tending to show existence of insanity; petitioner's statement that it is in the best interest of the alleged insane person that an order be granted directing commitment to an institution for the insane; date; the petitioner's signature and address; notarization of the identity of the petitioner; and certificate of judge or justice relating to personal service.

Part three of the record, the certificate of lunacy, consists of statements of facts concerning the alleged insane person, given and signed by two medical examiners. Part four of the record is an order of hearing (usually blank) granted as demanded by a relative or near friend of the alleged insane person, or upon the motion of the judge.

Part five of the record is an order that the person be adjudged insane and committed to New York State Hospital at Utica, followed by a statement of the financial condition of the insane person stating the legal liability for maintenance. The last page of the record gives summary and identifying information including case book and page number, number for year, and consecutive number.

B1543-99: This accretion consists of three volumes of commitment petitions (1896-1901). The petitions in Volume 3 contain no admission information and apparently represent persons either not approved for commitment or not admitted for other reasons.

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 Papers, contains similar records of commitment to Willard State Hospital.

Other finding aids

B1543-99: Volume list.

Custodial History

B1543-77: These records were transferred to the State Archives on May 28, 1997 from Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center under RDA 19266.

Access Terms

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