Ohio University

Athens Mental Health Center Collection

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Construction of the Athens Lunatic Asylum began in 1868 and concluded in 1873. The institution was in continuous operation on the site now known as The Ridges for the next 119 years. During this time, it went by many names:

  1. Athens Lunatic Asylum (1868-1875)
  2. South-Eastern Ohio Hospital for the Insane (1875)
  3. Athens Hospital for the Insane (1876-1878)
  4. Athens Asylum for the Insane (1878-1894)
  5. Athens State Hospital (1894-1968)
  6. Southeastern Ohio Mental Health Center (1968-1969)
  7. Athens Mental Health Center (1969-1975)
  8. Athens Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center (1975-1979)
  9. Athens Mental Health and Developmental Center (1979-1981)
  10. Athens Mental Health Center (1981-1993)

Titles of items in this collection reflect the name of the institution when that item was first created.

This digital collection draws heavily from the Athens Mental Health Center records, a 74-cubic foot archival collection held by the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections at Ohio University Libraries. The digital collection represents only a small fraction of the material available for on-site use at the Mahn Center and also includes a limited amount of material from other collections and institutions, such as the Alan Geiger papers, the Southeast Ohio History Center, and the State Library of Ohio. Because the Athens Mental Health Center records contain thousands of Inquest of Lunacy records dating from 1874 to 1911, Ohio University Libraries is only able to digitize new records in this series upon request. In order to make a digitization request, please contact curator Stacey Lavender.

Why is some content redacted?

Content relating to former patients who may not have been deceased for more than fifty years is classed as personally identifiable health information under federal and state law and thus must remain confidential. As a precaution, Ohio University Libraries have elected to only leave patients’ last names unredacted on records that are more than 132 years old.

This is a mixed-rights collection.

Please consult individual item records to learn their copyright status. Items presumed to be in copyright have here been made available under fair use or with the permission of the copyright holder; reuse is subject to the user’s own fair use assessment. For more information on Ohio University Libraries copyright, privacy, and take down policies, visit Policy and Procedures.