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Inventory of the Department of Mental Hygiene - DeWitt State Hospital Records
F3886  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History
  • Accruals
  • Related Collections at the California State Archives
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Department of Mental Hygiene - DeWitt State Hospital Records
    Dates: 1900-1972
    Collection number: F3886
    Creator: Department of Mental Hygiene - DeWitt State Hospital
    Extent: 183 file folders
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: DeWitt State Hospital, formerly an Army facility, was purchased from the federal government in September 1946 and began receiving patients in early 1947. To decrease over-crowding in other state mental hospitals, it was required by law to receive patients only on transfer. The records of DeWitt State Hospital consist of 183 file folders spanning the period 1900-1972. The records are organized into one series: Patient Case Files.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Department of Mental Hygiene - DeWitt State Hospital Records, F3886:[Folder Number], California State Archives.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Department of Mental Hygiene - DeWitt State Hospital Records in a series of transfers according to state law.

    Agency History

    DeWitt State Hospital, formerly an Army facility, was purchased from the federal government in September 1946 and began receiving patients in early 1947. To decrease over-crowding in other state mental hospitals, it was required by law to receive patients only on transfer ( Statutes 1946, Ch. 129). From the beginning, the hospital was equipped to receive both mentally ill and mentally deficient patients. In July 1950, DeWitt became a permanent hospital and began receiving first admissions directly from its geographical service area - the counties of Modoc, Lassen, Sierra, Yuba, Sutter, Placer, and El Dorado ( Statutes 1950, Ch. 14). By 1960, the hospital had exceeded its rated capacity with over 2800 patients. After 1960, population at the hospital steadily declined until it was closed in 1972.

    Scope and Content Note

    The records of the Department of Mental Hygiene - DeWitt State Hospital consist of 183 file folders spanning the period 1900-1972. The records are organized into one series: Patient Case Files.
    The Patient Case Files provide medical history and biographical information about patients housed at DeWitt State Hospital. Files typically contain various types of reports, notes, death and discharge certificates, and occasionally significant correspondence. Files have been heavily sampled and reflect only a small percentage of total patients. Files ending in zero and fat files have been retained. Fat files are large because either the patient was institutionalized over a long period or was admitted repeatedly for a specific illness, frequently alcoholism.

    Accruals

    No further accruals expected.

    Related Collections at the California State Archives

    Earl Warren Papers
    Goodwin J. Knight Papers
    Dept. of Public Works Records

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Mental health
    California. Dept. of Mental Hygiene
    Mental illness--Treatment