Series VPRS 7489
Asylum Records
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1940 - 1950
  Series in Custody 1940 - 1950
  Contents 1940 - 1950
Public Access: Closed
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
Display entries per page
Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1940 - 1950 Hillcrest Licensed House VA 2859
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
Display entries per page
Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2015 - cont Department of Health and Human Services VA 5037
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    This series consists of a collection of records from Hillcrest Licensed House, Murrumbeena. This is an artificial arrangement. These records were created and maintained separately however the records have been placed together to form one series to reflect a record keeping system in operation and for ease of reference.

    The following volumes are included in the series.

    VOLUMES 1 REGISTERS OF PATIENTS.

    Using Registers of Patients/Admission Registers

    Each volume of these registers contains an index by patient name which gives a reference to the number of the page of that volume upon which the patient's entry will be found.

    Register of Patients

    From at least 1845 and the proclamation of An Act for the Regulation of the Care and Treatment of Lunatics (8 & 9 Vic c.100), public asylums and licensed houses were required to maintain a Register of Patients. Initially the register maintained by licensed houses was officially known as the Book of Admissions. In some institutions the Register was also known as an Admissions Register or as an Admission and Discharge Register and these terms were sometimes stamped on the volumes.

    Immediately upon the admission of a person to an asylum, the clerk of the asylum was required to make an entry in the Register of Patients. Details recorded included:

    patient's name
    date of admission
    admission number
    date of last previous admission
    age
    marital status
    occupation
    previous place of abode
    religion, and
    once examined by a medical officer, the form of mental disorder and state of physical health.

    Further details were entered in the register on the death, transfer or discharge of a patient. Institutions were also required to maintain a separate Register of Discharges, Removals and Deaths, usually known as a Discharge Register.

    The format of the Register of Patients which was specified in a schedule to the Lunacy Statute and succeeding legislation, changed little until the proclamation of the Mental Health Act 1959 in 1962.

    The record then became officially known as the Register of Patients and Discharge Register and included information about the types of admission. The following five types of admission were specified under sections 41 to 49 of the Mental Health Act 1959.

    - Voluntary Boarders (V) were those who entered the hospital at their own request or, if under the age of 16 at the request of a parent or guardian and on the opinion of a medical practitioner.

    - Recommended (R) and Approved (A) Patients. A person could be admitted upon the recommendation set out in a prescribed form, of a medical practitioner who had examined the person. As soon as possible after admission the superintendent of the hospital was required to examine the patient and either approve the recommended admission or discharge the patient.

    - Judicial Admissions (J). Upon information provided on oath before a justice that a mentally ill person was not receiving proper care, or could not support himself/herself or had committed an offence, and after examination by two medical practitioners, an order could be made for the person to be admitted to or detained in a mental hospital.

    - Security Patients (S) were those who had been detained in a gaol but were transferred to a mental hospital upon being determined to be mentally ill.

    The post 1962 Registers of Patients also included information previously recorded in a separate Discharge Register, e.g. institution to which the patient was transferred; assigned cause of death where applicable. However some institutions continued to maintain a separate Discharge Register.

    There is no index to this volume.

    System of Arrangement/Control

    Contents: Chronological by dated of admission.

    Range of Control Symbols

    Contents: 4.1.1940 - 2.8.1950

    VOLUMES 2 DISCHARGE REGISTER

    Using Discharge Registers

    Some Discharge Registers included an index by patient name which provides a reference to the number of the page on which the patient's entry will be found. In some institutions the index was in the form of a separate book held inside the front cover of the Registers and consequently some indexes are no longer extant.

    Where there is no index, researchers need to know the date of discharge of the patient. This information was usually recorded in the Register of Patients and sometimes recorded in the Nominal Registers.

    Discharge Registers

    Within twenty-four hours after the discharge, removal or escape of any patient the clerk of the asylum was to make and sign an entry to record this occurrence in the Discharge Register also known as the Register of Discharges, Removals and Deaths. This was required under the provisions of section 23 of the Lunacy Statute 1867. Subsequent legislation included similar provisions. An entry was also to be made in the Register of Patients and a written notice was to be sent to the Chief Secretary.

    The format of the Discharge Register was specified in the seventeenth schedule of the 1867 Act and in schedules to subsequent legislation. Details recorded included date of death, discharge or removal, date of last admission, number in Register of Patients, name at length, name of hospital to which patient removed (if applicable), condition on discharge, cause of death (if applicable) and age at death. The entries are arranged chronologically by date of discharge.

    This volume registers all discharges from Hillcrest in chronological order of discharge.

    The Register is signed by the Inspector-General for the Insane.

    Range of Control Symbols

    Contents: 26.1.1940 - 2.2.1950

    Volume 3 Medical Journals

    Each Hospital for the Insane and Licensed House was required to maintain a Medical Journal under 37 of the Lunacy Act 1903. Every week the superintendent of the Licensed House was to enter or cause to be entered in the Medical Journal a statement showing the date, number of patients of each sex in the asylum, the name of every patient who had been placed in seclusion or under restraint since the last entry, the reasons and length of time of the seclusion/restraint, names of patients under medical treatment and for what (if any) bodily disorder, the condition of the institution, and every death, injury, and violences to patients since the last entry.

    The contents of the Medical Journal are arranged chronologically by the date of the report. All the medical details, the Superintendent was required to enter by the Lunacy Act were not always entered in the Journal. Some columns were often left blank. This is the only volume recovered to date.

    Range of Control Symbols:

    Contents: 28.5.1940 - 26.12.1943

    VOLUME 4 REGISTER OF VOLUNTARY BOARDERS.

    This volume records the admission of all patients who were voluntary boarders. "Voluntary Boarders" were those persons who made and signed a request to be cared for as a patient in a hospital for the insane or a licensed house. Voluntary boarders were not to be deemed a "lunatic" or a "lunatic patient" within the meaning of the Lunacy Acts. Voluntary boarders could be discharged on their own application.

    The details this register records include:

    - date of reception
    - name
    - sex
    - marital state
    - age
    - occupation
    - address
    - form of mental disorder
    - causation
    - physical condition
    - period of residence agreed
    - discharged (method)
    - any other remarks

    The register was regularly signed by the Inspector-General of the Insane. Entries are arranged chronologically by date of admission. Patients listed in this register are not listed in the "Register of Patients" volume 1.

    Range of Control Symbols

    Contents: 27.1.1916 - 8.4.1923

    Legislation

    Lunacy Acts Amendment Act 1914

    VOLUME 5 LICENCE AND PATIENT REGISTER

    This volume was used to record a copy of the House's Licence as issued by the Chief Secretary and dates for the licence's renewal.

    It was also used as a register of patients to record each patient's date of annual examination under section 88 of the Lunacy Act 1903, dates of trial leave, and date of discharge. Entries are listed in chronological order by date of admission and each entry is allocated a sequential number. Entries for long-term patients are repeated.

    Range of Control Symbols

    Contents: 7.1.1940 -2.8.1950, 1 - 57

    VOLUME 6 INSPECTOR-GENERAL'S AND VISITOR'S BOOK

    Under the provisions of the Lunacy Act 1903 the Governor-in-Council was to appoint not less than two Justices to be official visitors to visit the metropolitan hospitals and not less than two Justices to be official visitors for each of the country hospitals. The Official Visitors were to be accompanied by the Inspector-General of the Insane. A visit was to be made at least once every three months. The Official Visitors were to inspect every part of the building and grounds, every patient and to inquire whether any patient is under restraint or in seclusion and if so shy, the registers of patients, and the order and certificates for the reception of every patient who had been admitted since the last visit. On inspection they were to enter in the "Inspector-General's and Visitors' Book" a memo of the condition of the hospital and patients, the number of patients under restrain or seclusion and the reasons for that treatment, and was to specify any irregularities in any order or certificates.

    A copy of the relevant legislation is placed at the front of the volume. The reports are arranged chronologically.

    Range of Control Symbols

    Contents: 8.1.1940 - 18.12.1950

    VOLUME 7 PROBATION REGISTER

    This register records details of these patients allowed to leave the licenced house on leave.

    Details recorded:

    - name
    - date on leave
    - date when leave expires
    - name and address of guardian
    - date returned or discharged
    Entries listed in chronological order of date of trial leave.

    Range of Control Symbols

    Contents: 13.8.1942 - 16.12.1950

  • Function / Content


  • Recordkeeping System


More research resourcesMore research resources
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
Display entries per page
Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
Display entries per page
Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
Display entries per page
Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1940 - 1950 Closed 7
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
More research resourcesMore research resources