Men­tal health col­lec­tion hits web

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - ON THE RECORD -

More than 11,000 men­tal hos­pi­tal records have been pub­lished on­line for the first time.

Digi­tised from doc­u­ments held at Sur­rey His­tory Cen­tre, the new ances­try.co.uk col­lec­tion fea­tures de­tails of men, women and chil­dren ad­mit­ted to Brook­wood Hos­pi­tal in Wok­ing, and Hol­loway Sana­to­rium in Egham be­tween 1867 and 1900.

Search­able by de­tails such as name and year of birth, the records can re­veal a pa­tient’s mar­i­tal sta­tus, res­i­dence, oc­cu­pa­tion and re­li­gion, as well as the rea­son for their ad­mis­sion.

“This col­lec­tion shines a light on a pe­riod in his­tory where peo­ple – in­clud­ing chil­dren as young as four – were ad­mit­ted to in­sti­tu­tions, of­ten with an in­cor­rect di­ag­no­sis and with­out ac­cess to the cor­rect level of care,” said Ances­try’s se­nior UK con­tent man­ager Miriam Sil­ver­man.

“Though shock­ing from a mod­ern per­spec­tive, the records track chang­ing per­cep­tions of men­tal health is­sues and will be par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing for any­body look­ing to find out more about a rel­a­tive de­tained in an in­sti­tu­tion in Sur­rey at this time.”

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