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Inventory of the Department of Mental Hygiene - DeWitt State Hospital Records
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Arrangement and Description


Series 1 Patient Case Files 1900-1972

Physical Description: 183 file folders


Arranged numerically by case file number.

Access Information

Records in this series are restricted for 75 years from the date of last activity under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5328 because they contain confidential patient information.

Scope and Content Note

Case files are the primary source of information on care and treatment of individuals at hospital. The records have been arranged within each case by case number with the highest number on top. Common records for each file include, in order, commitment papers and related court documents, patient background information, nurses' admission reports, photographs, clinical conference reports, progress notes, social service reports, ward notes (nursing notes), hydrotherapy reports, electric shock treatment reports, intelligence test reports, release summaries, death certificates, discharge certificates, cumulative case summaries, and correspondence. Relatively little correspondence has been retained unless it was especially noteworthy or written by the patient.


Patient Case Files are not indexed. Researchers must contact the California Department of Mental Health in order to obtain a case file number. To access information about a patient represented by more than one case number, user must search under the highest case number for that individual. For access, see the reference archivist.