Posts Tagged ‘Archives’

Lunacy Commission Patients Admission Registers, 1846-1912

March 12, 2018

Did you know that the Lunacy Patients Admission Registers are available to search on You can use this index, to search for patients who were admitted to The North Wales Hospital, Denbigh between 1846 and 1912.

These registers which provide details of asylum patients in both public and private asylums, were kept by the Lunacy Commission. In 1845, the Lunacy Act and County Asylum Act obligated counties to build county asylums for the poor and criminally insane and established the Lunacy Commission to oversee both private and public asylums.

Under the Mental Deficiencies Act of 1913 the Lunacy Commission were replaced by The Board of Control for Lunacy and Mental Deficiency; in 1948 the Boards functions were then transferred to the Minister of Health, under the National Health Service Act of 1946.

Records relating to the Lunacy Commission can be found within the North Wales Hospital collection; the Commission made annual visits to the hospital, and reports relating to their visits were included in the hospitals Annual Reports.

The admission registers themselves recorded the name and sex of the patient; the name of the hospital, asylum, or licensed house; and the date of admission and of discharge or death of each patient. This index, along with surviving patient records from the hospital, are excellent resources for family history, local history and academic research. Please note however that access to hospital records are closed for 100 years, due to privacy restrictions.

Denbighshire Archives offers free access to, if you would like to visit the office to view the website, or to consult items within the North Wales Hospital collection, please visit our website to book a place.

Details of the ‘Unlocking the Asylum’ project can be found here.



Unlocking the Asylum – Catalogue Launch

February 7, 2018

As a result of our Wellcome funded Unlocking the Asylum project we are pleased to announce the launch of a temporary catalogue for the first part of the North Wales Hospital collection. This temporary catalogue replaces the former paper list. The catalogue, which includes over 500 items, features improved item descriptions, and a new structure which will make it easier for users to find records relevant to their research. The temporary catalogue can be found here (please click on Browse by Hierarchy to open the drop down catalogue).

The North Wales Hospital online catalogue.

The collection includes management records such as minutes and annual reports, building records including some relating to the initial foundation of the hospital, financial records including accounts, patient records including admission, discharge, and case books, staff records including wage books, and other material including photographs and newspaper cuttings.

Please note that due to NHS regulations records of patients and staff which contain sensitive personal information are closed for between 75 to 100 years.

Work is now underway to catalogue and repackage the remainder of the collection, and the final version of the catalogue which will include the later accessions of records will be available by the end of the project in 2019. In addition to this our Project Support Officer is hard at work to index and repackage the later series of patient files, of which an impressive 2,100 have already been completed.

We will continue to post regular updates of the progress of the project and details of events on our blog and Facebook pages.