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Accessing Virginia's Central State Hospital Digital Library

Founded in 1870 in Petersburg, Virginia, Central State Hospital (CSH) – formerly Central State Lunatic Asylum for Colored Insane – was the first mental health care facility for African Americans in the country.

The collection contains over 100 years of records related to the historic institution; these are the most complete archival records of Black people and mental illness in the United States. Items include board minutes, annual reports, procedural manuals, financial reports, patient registers, photos, newsletters, and monographs

For more information on accessing archived patient records, visit

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