|Danvers State Hospital circa 1880. The hospital permanently closed its doors in |
1992. Many of its records are located at the Massachusetts State Archives
Massachusetts State Archives: The Archives mainly collects materials produced by state agencies, and these include records from state hospitals and sanatoriums, mental health facilities, almshouses, and reform schools. Here’s the best way to search their collections: Visit ArchiveGrid and in the search bar type “contributor:33” (this is the number assigned to the State Archives) and then a search term (name of the hospital, “patient records,” “case files,” etc.)
|Example of search results using ArchiveGrid|
Secretary of the Commonwealth
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
Harvard’s Countway Library of Medicine: Use Harvard Library System’s HOLLIS+ catalog to search the types of records Countway has in their archives and manuscripts collection. For example: type in a general or specific search term (ex. “patient records,” “hospital,” name of the institution, etc.) and hit Enter. Next, on the left side, you can narrow down your results by clicking “Archives/Manuscripts” under Resource Type, and then click “Countway Medicine” under Location.
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine
10 Shattuck St.
Boston, MA 02115
Email: Ask-A-Librarian online form
Reference Phone: 617-432-2134
City of Boston Archives: The city’s Archives also have record collections for Boston-area hospitals, including those for Long Island Hospital and the Boston Lunatic Hospital. Users can keyword search their online catalog for other related record collections, too.
City of Boston Archives and Records Management
201 Rivermoor St.
West Roxbury, MA 02132
ArchiveGrid: As mentioned earlier, ArchiveGrid is a great tool to use for searching collections at the State Archives. However, it can also be used for searching other repositories in Massachusetts and across the United States. If you’re still having trouble finding the location of certain records, try searches that cast a wider net to see if there are any not-so-obvious collections out there that may be helpful with your research.