Welcome to Kentucky Historic Institutions!

Please check this post for important information. The mission of Kentucky Historic Institutions is to preserve memories, advocate for the forgotten patients and employees and to educate the public about the individual history of Kentucky’s asylums, hospitals and institutions. Written, visual, and oral histories will be provided for the various institutions so please check our…

Kentucky’s Historical Lunacy Laws

The following is a compilation of lunacy laws that were established in the Commonwealth of Kentucky up to the year 1883. Please remember to keep these laws in a historical context when reading them. The book, in its entirety, is in the public domain and can be viewed freely online. To view the book online,…

Kentucky School of Reform

Kentucky School of Reform (Lexington/Greendale) Please visit our section dedicated to this school on our website with more information and a photo gallery. In early 1902, there were nearly 300 boys and girls; 120 were white boys and 112 colored boys, 35 white girls and 20 colored girls. In 1902 the colored boys and girls…

1920s State Board of Charitable Institutions Documents and Reports

1923 survey of the Penal and Charitable Institutions by the State Board of Charities and Corrections. This survey examined ways to increase the efficacy of the treatment and care of inmates.   1927 Report of Industries and Character of Work Performed at Each Institution, the Number of Patients at Work, and Plans for the Future….

Disposition of Final Remains at KY Institutions

This is a set of early 1920s documents from the Commonwealth explaining the procedure for the disposition of final remains of those who died in any of Kentucky’s institutions. It does not include a list of patient names. Please note that these documents primarily relate up to and before the 1920s.   Contributed by Phil…

Information About Records

As of 2018, we will not have access to death records after the year 1960. That means if your ancestor died in one of Kentucky’s state hospitals sometime AFTER 1960, we will not be able to access any vital statistics. The good news is that we can provide you with information on how to obtain…

Book Giveaway!

At this time, the contest is over and the winner has been contacted. Hello, everyone! To start the new year off on a positive note we have decided to do a book giveaway. One person will win a brand new copy of the book, This Way Madness Lies by author Mike Jay. It contains more…

CSH: John Perkins Gallery

On July 22, 1997, Kentucky photographer John Perkins took several photographs during a walk through of Central States remaining buildings. Included in these are rare interior images of the Administration building prior to full demolition. Note: All photographs on this pages are used with explicit permission from, and are courtesy of John Perkins.    …

Dorothea Dix: Crusader for the Insane

The beginnings of Dorothea “Dolly” Lynde Dix were shrouded in mystery for many years. Miss Dix, even in her later years, always remained secretive about her early life. In fact, many of her friends didn’t even know her date of birth. Eventually, it was uncovered that Miss Dix was born on the fourth of April,…