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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 http://www.coloredinsaneasylums.org/

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Lisa Beal
Lisa Beal
Nov 20, 2021

Dr Davis gave a great talk at the 2021 AAHGS conference. It will be available until Nov 30th for registered attendees.

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Adrienne Fikes
Adrienne Fikes
Nov 20, 2021
Replying to

I also share a bit about my personal connection and the genealogical treasure trove of information contained in the CSH patient files during my presentation titled Deep Roots and Bubble Wrap about the emotional side of family history research

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