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Publications Note

General Note

Arrangement

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ARRANGEMENT

Section II. Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital Records.
Records, photographic materials, and artifacts, 1826-1997 + [n.d.]
.

State law 50 P.S. 7111 prohibits the use of all patient mental health records.

The Pennsylvania Hospital Historic Collections is currently revising it’s patient record access policy for all medical patient records held in the Archives. As of right now, ALL patient records are closed to the public. Our new policy will be posted here as soon as possible. We truly regret the inconvenience this causes. All non-patient related material is closed for 75 years from its creation. Certain restrictions might still apply on specific records.

Funding Note

The processing of this collection was made possible through a grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Provenance

The overwhelming majority of this collection is comprised of the physician/ superintendent files, and administrative records of the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital and the Institute's School of Nursing and Affiliate Program. When the Institute closed, these records were transferred to the Pennsylvania Hospital Historic Collections. A few of the more personal items were donated by relatives of the physicians to whom the items belonged.

Institutional History

The Pennsylvania Hospital was founded in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin. Chartered by the Colonial Government, the Pennsylvania Hospital has the distinction of being the first hospital in America to care for the sick poor. The original building on Eighth and Pine Streets, completed in 1755, was expanded over the years, as demand for a larger facility grew. Today the Hospital maintains the original building, as well as many others, as part of its campus.

The nation's first hospital was also the first to treat psychological and emotional disorders as conditions that could be cured. From the outset, part of the hospital's mission was to treat mentally challenged patients with more dignity than the custom of the day dictated, though in 1783, that mission became even more clear when Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) was elected to the medical staff. Referred to as the "Father of American Psychiatry," Rush was one of the first physicians to contend that mental illness could be treated humanely with better living conditions and recreational therapy. This notion was clearly well received, as by the early 19th Century the number of mentally ill patients outnumbered patients with physical ailments. By 1832 the Board of Managers recognized the necessity of opening a separate asylum with the sole purpose of caring for psychiatric patients. The Pennsylvania Hospital purchased a 101-acre farm in West Philadelphia in 1835 from Matthew Arrison, on which the cornerstone for a new facility was laid on July 26, 1836.

On October 12, 1840, the Managers named Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride (1809-1883), a thirty-one year-old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, as the Superintendent of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, which officially opened its doors to patients on January 1, 1841. At this time, nearly one hundred mentally ill patients were transferred by carriage from the Pennsylvania Hospital at 8th Street to the new asylum, which was beautifully constructed amidst vast, flourishing lawns and gardens. Dr. Kirkbride and his family took up residence in the mansion that was once the home of Paul Busti, a wealthy Philadelphia merchant, who had owned the farm prior to Matthew Arrison.

The reputation of the Hospital and its superintendent grew rapidly, and the institution flourished. Dr. Kirkbride became well-known for his work with the patients, and the so-called "Kirkbride Plan" for the design and creation of mental institutions. The plan, outlined in Kirkbride's 1854 work entitled, On the Construction, Organization and General Arrangements of Hospitals for the Insane, was widely accepted and implemented in institutions throughout the nation. Indeed, Kirkbride also gained fame for being one of the original thirteen founders of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, which evolved into what is today known as the American Psychiatric Association.

Increased popularity of Kirkbride and the humane treatment methods he espoused led to a significant increase in the institution's patient population. Though additions had been made to the original building to accommodate the growing demand for care, it eventually became clear that another, larger building was needed. On July 7, 1856, the cornerstone for a new building, built with the money from individual contributions, was laid at 49th and Market Streets, five blocks west of the original building. The new structure, which was to house only male patients, was dubbed the Department for Males, while the original building officially became known as the Department for Females.

The Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane flourished under Kirkbride until his death on December 16, 1883, though for decades after his death, Philadelphia natives colloquially referred to the hospital as "Kirkbride's." Dr. John B. Chapin, the former Superintendent of the Willard State Hospital in New York, assumed the role of Superintendent of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane after Kirkbride's demise. Chapin resigned from his duties in 1911, and was succeeded by Dr. Owen Copp, who initiated a School of Nursing for Men at the Hospital.

Against the custom of the day, Copp appointed Leroy N. Craig as the director of the Men's School, and Craig became the first male superintendent of any male nursing school in the country. The new school was devoted to training male students in general nursing practices, as well as the specialized disciplines of psychiatric and urological nursing. The Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing for Men was successful for many years, but in 1965, it was dissolved after having graduated 551 men and training approximately 12,000 affiliates during it's 51-year history. (At this time, the School of Nursing for Women, which operated out of the Pennsylvania Hospital's 8th Street facility was also dissolved, and a cooperative school which accepted both male and female students was initiated. This school existed until 1974, when the nursing school was completely dissolved due to lack of interest in the program.)

The Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, which officially became known as the Department of Mental and Nervous Diseases in 1918, was not only a pioneer in nursing education, but also in outpatient care. In 1920, Dr. Copp appointed a young Dr. Edward A. Strecker to head a new outpatient service at 49th Street. The new treatment center was opened to persons in need of psychiatric care, but for whom constant hospital supervision was unnecessary. Outpatient therapy proved popular, and in 1930, all male inpatients were transferred from the 49th Street facility to the 44th Street Building, so the 49th Street property could be used primarily as an outpatient center to treat patients with common neuroses, such as depression, sleeplessness, and low self-esteem. Strecker became a groundbreaker in the field of psychiatry with his approach to these common issues, including alcoholism, which he was one of the first physicians to recognize as a mental illness rather than as a moral failing. It was at this time the 49th Street property was renamed the "Institute."

The entire West Philadelphia entity became known as the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital in 1959, when the 44th Street property was closed due to the City of Philadelphia exercising its right of eminent domain. Items from the original building were auctioned off, and the building was demolished to make way for the City's subway project. All patients were moved to the 49th Street property, where a new, five-story "North Building" opened to accommodate the consolidation. Within a decade this building became the site of the area's first inpatient treatment center for adolescent children.

The Institute was a fundamental player in the evolution of psychiatric care. Many of the most eminent psychiatrists of the 19th and 20th Centuries were either superintendents or otherwise affiliated with the institution. Physicians like the aforementioned Drs. Kirkbride, Chapin, Copp, and Strecker, as well as others such as Dr. Kenneth Appel, and Dr. Earl D. Bond, were all instrumental in the effective operation and management of the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital. Their contributions to the field of psychiatry cannot be underestimated, nor can the care given to thousands of patients during the Institute's impressive history. Nevertheless, in 1997, The Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital was forced to close its doors, after years of declining insurance payments and a decreased need for inpatient services had taken its toll on the Hospital. The buildings were sold, and the behavioral health programs returned to their original location at the Pennsylvania Hospital's 8th Street property.

Institute Timeline:

May 11, 1751 - The Pennsylvania Hospital is founded for the care of the sick-poor and the insane.

1783 - Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), the "Father of American Psychiatry," is elected to the medical staff of the Pennsylvania Hospital, and remains an integral member of the staff until his death in 1813. He is one of the first physicians to maintain that mental illness could be treated humanely with better living conditions and recreational therapy.

1832 - A resolution is passed by the Board of Managers to create a separate asylum for mentally ill patients, who, by that time, outnumbered sick and injured patients.

1835 - The Pennsylvania Hospital purchases a 101-acre farm in West Philadelphia from Matthew Arrison, on which the new facility is to be erected. Prior to being owned by Arrison, the farm had been the property of Paul Busti, an area merchant.

July 26, 1836 - The cornerstone of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane is laid, and the new hospital, designed by architects Isaac Holden and Samuel Sloan, is built at the corner of 44th and Market Streets.

October 12, 1840 - Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride (1809-1883), a thirty-one year-old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, is elected Superintendent of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane.

January 1, 1841 - the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane opens its doors. Nearly 100 mentally ill patients are transferred by carriage from the Pennsylvania Hospital's 8th Street location to the new facility, which is beautifully constructed with stone arches and large parlors, and rests amidst flourishing lawns and gardens. Spaciousness is the ideal. Dr. Kirkbride and his family take up residence in the mansion that was once the home of Paul Busti.

October 16, 1844 - Dr. Kirkbride hosts a meeting of thirteen superintendents of psychiatric hospitals, at which they found the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane. Over the years, this association will evolve into what is today known as the American Psychiatric Association.

1854 - Dr. Kirkbride writes On the Construction, Organization and General Arrangements of Hospitals for the Insane, which outlines what is now known as the "Kirkbride Plan" for the design of mental institutions. Kirkbride's reputation grows, as does the reputation of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, and the plan is implemented in many institutions throughout the nation.

July 7, 1856 - Increased popularity of the humane methods espoused by Kirkbride, lead to a significant increase in the institution's patient population. Though additions are added to the original building to accommodate the growing demand for care, another large building becomes. The cornerstone for a new building, funded by individual contributions, is laid five blocks to the west of the original building at 49th and Market Streets.

October 10, 1859 - The new building receives patients for the first time. The original building officially becomes known as the Department for Females, while the new, twin building at 49th Street is dubbed the Department for Males.

December 16, 1883 - Dr. Kirkbride passes away. For many years after his death, native Philadelphians colloquially refer to the hospital as "Kirkbride's."

September 1, 1884 - Dr. John B. Chapin, former Superintendent of the State Hospital of Willard, NY, assumes the role of Superintendent of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane.

1895 - Female attendants serve in the Men's Department for the first time.

1911 - Dr. Chapin resigns as Superintendent and is succeeded by Dr. Owen Copp.

1914 - Copp initiates a School of Nursing for Men at the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane. He appoints Leroy N. Craig as the first director of the Men's School. Craig becomes the first male superintendent of a male nursing school in the country. The new school is devoted to training male nurses in general nursing practices, as well as the specialized disciplines of psychiatric and urological nursing.

1918 - The name of the institution is officially changed from the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane to the "Department for Mental and Nervous Diseases" of the Pennsylvania Hospital, to reflect a growing interest in the studies of the brain.

1920 - Copp appoints Dr. Edward A. Strecker to head a new outpatient service at 49th Street. The new treatment center is opened to persons in need of psychiatric care, but for whom constant hospital supervision is unnecessary.

1922 - Dr. Earl D. Bond succeeds Dr. Copp as the Psychiatrist-In-Chief of the Department of Mental and Nervous Diseases.

1928 - Two new buildings are added to the Hospital's campus at 48th Street and Haverford Avenue. The new structures boast a power plant, a kitchen, a laundry, etc. With the additions, these potentially hazardous structures are removed from the 49th Street buildings.

1930 - All male in-patients are moved from the 49th Street facility to the 44th Street Building. The 49th Street building is dubbed as the "Institute" for the first time, and opens its doors as an outpatient center to treat patients with common neuroses, such as depression, sleeplessness, and low self-esteem.

1932 - An affiliate program in Psychiatric Nursing is established as part of the Department for Mental and Nervous Diseases' School of Nursing.

1933 - A residency training program in psychiatric medicine is established.

1935 - Dr. Strecker becomes one of the first doctors to recognize alcoholism as a disease, and the Pennsylvania Hospital becomes the first treatment center to hire a recovering alcoholic as an addiction counselor.

1938 - Dr. Bond retires as the Psychiatrist-in-Chief and is replaced by Dr. Lauren H. Smith.

1951 - The Child Study Center is formed.

1959 - The 44th Street property is closed due to the City of Philadelphia exercising its right of eminent domain. Items from the original building are auctioned off, and the building is demolished to make way for the City's subway project. All patients are moved to the 49th Street property, and all departments are consolidated under the name of the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital. The new, five-story "North Building" opens on the 49th Street property to accommodate the consolidation. Within a decade it becomes the site of the area's first inpatient treatment center for adolescent children.

1962 - Dr. Smith is succeeded by Dr. J. Martin Myers as Psychiatrist-in-Chief.

1965 - The Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing for Men is dissolved after having graduated 551 men and training approximately 12,000 affiliates during it's 51-year history. (At this time, the School of Nursing for Women, which operates out of the Pennsylvania Hospital's 8th Street facility is also dissolved, and a cooperative school which accepts both male and female students is initiated. This school exists until 1974, when the nursing school is completely dissolved due to lack of interest in the program.)

1981 - Dr. Newell Fischer replaces Dr. Myers and becomes the Institute's Director of Psychiatry. 1982 - Dr. Layton McCurdy becomes the new Psychiatrist-in-Chief

1997 - The Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital is forced to close its doors, after years of declining insurance payments and a decreased need for inpatient treatment of psychiatric illness. The buildings are sold and the Hospital's behavioral health programs return to their original location at the Pennsylvania Hospital's 8th Street property. The archival records and historical artifacts pertaining to the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane (the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital) are transferred to the Pennsylvania Hospital Historic Collections.

2004 - The NHPRC issues a grant to organize, preserve and make publicly accessible the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital's Archival Collection.

General Overview of the Collection:

The Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital collection is a very comprehensive record group, which contains general and detailed information on the general operation of the Institute, on the doctors and superintendents who were associated with the facility, and on the School of Nursing founded at the Institute. The collection dates from the early 1800s to 1997, and is comprised of approximately 250 linear feet of material, including paper documents, ledger books, photographs, and artifacts.

This collection should be considered one of the most important collections covering the treatment of psychological disorders and mental illness, as it contains operational information for one of the first modern treatment facilities for such diseases. In addition, it represents an important source of information on early Schools of Nursing - particularly those specializing in the education of male nurses.

The collection has been divided into six series:

Note on Restricted Access:

Not all materials in the collection are publicly accessible or reproducible. The physical condition of an item, copyright issues, donor restrictions, and Federal regulations will determine restrictions on access and reproductions.

According to the Hospital Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), effective April 14th, 2003, Hospital employees are not permitted to provide access to identifying information of any patient - past, present, or future. As a result, access to, or reproductions of, any images in which patients appear, cannot be granted, unless the patients' faces are blurred so as to be unrecognizable. State law 50 P.S. 7111 prohibits the use of all patient mental health records.

Requests for Reproductions and Publishing/ Use Rights:

When deemed appropriate, and when not restricted by federal or donor regulations, the Archivist may grant one-time, non-exclusive rights to publish hospital-owned images. Reproduction costs, Service charges, and Publication/ use fees may apply.

All requests for image reproductions must be in writing and should be delivered to the Hospital Archivist at least three weeks prior to the date the image is needed. Please request to view the "Details of Image Reproduction Services" information page and the "Image Services Fee Schedule" for additional information regarding image reproductions.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies and other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of the specified conditions is that the photocopy or other reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Reproductions of materials in the Historic Collections of Pennsylvania Hospital are provided as a service to expedite research and lessen wear on image/ documents, and are made solely for the personal use of the individual researcher requesting them. Reproductions may not be transferred to another individual or organization, deposited at another institution, or reduplicated without prior permission of the Pennsylvania Hospital. Duplication by the Hospital in no way transfers either the copyright or the property right. Similarly, duplication by the Hospital does not constitute permission to publish, or to display materials, without the express written consent of the Pennsylvania Hospital Archivist via a signed Permission to Publish and/or Exhibit Materials form, and the payment of use fees where applicable.

Preferred Citation:
Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital Collection. Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Hospital Historic Collections, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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