Welcome to Kentucky Historic Institutions!

Before you get started, please check this post for updated information, quick tips, and information on how to obtain records. Are you interested in using any of our information? We are happy to accommodate requests. Common requests often include: use for blogs and/or websites, media use, as well as school and non-profit use. We do…

Insanity: Causes, Types, and Treatments

This is a three-part series regarding the historical causes, types, and treatments of insanity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Though focus is primarily on Kentucky institutions, these apply to other institutions throughout the United States. You can visit this page to read Kentucky’s historical lunacy laws. You can also check our glossary of antiquated…

Kentucky’s Historical Lunacy Laws

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…

The Hill-Burton Act and its Impact on Kentucky

In 1946, the United States Congress passed a new law that afforded hospitals and other healthcare facilities to apply for grants and funding to construct new facilities and/or modernize existing ones. The hospitals would, in return, provide service to the local citizens of which the facility served at little or no cost. Essentially, those who…

Home Care Following Leukotomy

We have a dedicated page to historical treatments for insanity including psychosurgery. Newspaper sources are copyrighted by their respective authors/owners. In 1949, Dr. António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with physiologist Walter Rudolf Hess, for the development of the prefrontal leukotomy. A polarizing…

State Hospital Rules and Regulations

This information pertains to regulations during the middle of the 20th century for state hospitals in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Regulations and laws were subject to change by acts of legislation. Please remember to keep this information in a historical perspective. Patient Care The director will authorize the admission of a legally committed patient so…

CSH: Martin Rollins Gallery

In January 1990, former CSH employees Martin Rollins visited the old campus and took a series of photos of the old CSH buildings. He did not realize at the time that within a few years, all of these buildings would only be a memory. Note: All photographs on this pages are used with explicit permission…

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 1923…