Western Lunatic Asylum [Staunton, Virginia] Collection

Western Lunatic Asylum [Staunton, Virginia] Collection 1840-1903 (bulk 1840-1868) Ms.2016.021


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Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

Katie Herring, Student Assistant , Leeann Jones, Student Assistant, and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist

Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Identification
Ms.2016.021
Title
Western Lunatic Asylum [Staunton, Virginia] Collection1840-19031840-1868
Quantity
0.6 Cubic Feet 1 box; 1 oversize folder
Language
English .
Abstract
The Western Lunatic Asylum Collection includes correspondence written to the Western Lunatic Asylum in Staunton, Virginia, dating from 1840 through the late 19th century, as well as annual reports from the 1860s and 1900s.

Administrative Information

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Western Lunatic Asylum Collection must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Western Lunatic Asylum Collection, Ms2016-021, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Western Lunatic Asylum [Staunton, Virginia] Collection was purchased in three separate accession between August and November of 2016. Additional materials were acquired in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Additional letters may be received in the future.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Western Lunatic Asylum Collection was completed in December 2016. Additional arrangement and description was completed in April 2018. 2018 and 2019 accessions were processed on a rolling basis and the finding aid was updated in June 2019.


Historical Note

Originally called the Western State Lunatic Asylum, the Western Lunatic Asylum was a hospital for the mentally ill in Staunton, Virginia, opening in 1828. In its early years, the institution was a resort-style asylum, directed under Dr. Francis T. Stribling. Dr. Stribling promoted a clean, healthy, and kind atmosphere that would aid in the healing process of his patients. While Dr. Stribling was the director of the hospital, patients were well cared for and treated with respect.

Scope and Content

The Western Lunatic Asylum Collection includes correspondence written to the Western Lunatic Asylum in Staunton, Virginia, dating from 1840 to about 1870, as well as final year reports from 1862 and 1903. The correspondece relates to the Western Lunatic Asylum in Staunton, Virginia, and most of the letters are written to Dr. Francis T. Stribling, the director of the Western Lunatic Asylum, by family members of patients concerning their care. One of the letters isn't written to Dr. Stribling, but he is mentioned in the letter.

Arrangement

The correspondence in this collection is arranged in chronological order. The annual reports are in a separate folder.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Folk, historical, and patent medicine
  • Health
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
  • Medicine
  • Staunton (Va.)
  • Stribling, Francis T. (Francis Taliaferro), 1810-1874
  • Western Lunatic Asylum (Va.)

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Stribling, Francis T. (Francis Taliaferro), 1810-1874

Container List

Correspondence
1840-1868, n.d.
  • box-folder 1 folder: 2
    Undated correspondence
  • box-folder 1 folder: 3oversize folder: 11840-1844
  • box-folder 1 folder: 41845-1849
  • box-folder 1 folder: 51850-1851
  • box-folder 1 folder: 61852
  • box-folder 1 folder: 71853
  • box-folder 1 folder: 81854
  • box-folder 1 folder: 91855
  • box-folder 1 folder: 101856
  • box-folder 1 folder: 111857
  • box-folder 1 folder: 121858
  • box-folder 1 folder: 131859
  • box-folder 1 folder: 141868
Annual Reports
1862, 1903
  • box-folder 1 folder: 1
    Report to the President and Directors of the Central Lunatic Asylum for the Fiscal Year 1861-2
  • box-folder 1 folder: 1
    Seventy-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Directors and of the Superintendent of the Western State Hospital of Virginia
    1903