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,…

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,…

Madness: Treatments for Insanity

This post is a brief review of historical methodologies for treating mental disorders. In the latter half of the 20th century, a number of non-invasive methods were used as well. The proceeding information should not be construed as medical advice. Please contact a physician if you have medical questions related to treatments of mental disorders or…

Hamilton’s Types of Insanity

In the 1880s, Dr. Allan M. Hamilton developed a series of illustrated plates that highlighted his posited theory on the physiognomy of insanity. Today, Dr. Hamilton’s work is largely disregarded as “quackery.” If you’re interested in reading Dr. Hamilton’s entire book, then click here to check it out. It is a public domain book available…

Cemetery Indexes Live for All State Hospitals

We have added cemetery indexes for patients buried at Central State Hospital (Louisville/Lakeland), Eastern State Hospital (Lexington), Frankfort State Hospital and School (Frankfort), Kentucky State Hospital (Danville) and Western State Hospital (Hopkinsville). Remember that we are actively updating these indexes so this is a work in progress. We also encourage you to check back frequently for…