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At a Glance
Eight large ledgers that record nearly 750 case studies of both female and male inmates, with their medical histories, background information, patient notes, and, in many instances, photographs.
The earliest two volumes cover a consecutive period from 1880 through 1885, and contain the cases of nearly 300 women, including two with photographs. Three volumes from the 1890s all contain photographs of the inmates -- usually a single image, occasionally two. These comprise two volumes of female patients and one of male patients, listing 255 women, with 108 photos, and 138 men, with sixty-four photos. The final volume covers December 1908 to December 1909, and describes fifty-nine women and their cases.
Also, "History, Description and Statistics of the Bloomingdale Asylum for the Insane" (New York, 1848) and Guide for the Attendants at the Bloomingdale Asylum for the Insane (New York, 1844) which has been annotated and updated in the 1890s; Two manuscript documents relating to the Asylum, a later framed manuscript map of the grounds, and a lithograph of the Asylum buildings.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is located on site.
Conditions Governing Use
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts/University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); The New York Bloomingdale Insane Asylum Records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Bob Scott on the Bloomingdale Asylum. Morningside Heights Digital History. Columbia University Libraries.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Processed by Patrick T. Lawlor on 1/14/2020.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
The asylum was established as a private institution in New York City during the early 19th century, and was the only facility of its kind in the state. By the 1830s, it maintained a large, thriving operation in northern Manhattan that housed more than 100 inmates. In 1890 the asylum relocated to White Plains, and sold its Manhattan property to Columbia University, which established its present-day main campus on the site. This archive, with materials dating from 1880 to 1910, spans thirty years and two locations of the asylum.