Due to restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently unable to visit the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. Accordingly, we cannot accommodate records requests until further notice. We currently have a limited number of records digitized on our website, be sure to check those links first. Please note that you may experience long delays for Kentucky Vital Statistics Records as well. For the most current information click here: UPDATES
Requesting Historical Records from BHDID
Note: Kentucky Historic Institutions is not affiliated with the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities or the Commonwealth of Kentucky and is not responsible for the availability of records, processing times, or any fees.
We have developed a four-step system for obtaining historical records. The form to submit records requests to BHDID is in step number four; we urge you to review steps one through three before submitting any request for historical records.
All Requests for Historical Records MUST be Made in Writing Now
KHI has no control over this.
ATTN: Records Officer
275 East Main Street 4C-D
Frankfort, Kentucky 40621
Phone: (502) 564-4860
Fax: (502) 564-3844
(Note: there may be a fee of 10 cents per page plus postage.)
BHDID must respond within three (3) days to the request, either by phone, email, or letter. They do not have to provide the records within this timeframe but they must provide an estimated timeframe.
Information You Must Know Before Submitting an Open Records Request
- The year (and sometimes month) that the individual was discharged or passed away from the facility and the name of the facility. Important: census information is not sufficient in locating medical records. Many of the historical records are also filed as “white” or “colored.”
- The person must have been deceased at least fifty (50) years before the record can be released per HIPPA Law (45 CFR 160.103). You may be required to verify death via death certificate, newspaper obituary, FindAGrave website, etc.
- If person has not been deceased for at least fifty (50) years you may receive permission from the individual estate executor, administrator or person with authority under KY law per 45 CFR 164.502.
- If fifty (50) years has not passed and executor or administrator is decreased, you may probate their medical records in the county the facility was in, this usually requires a lawyer and fees.
Historical Records BHDID Has in Storage at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
|Facility Name||Records Starting Year(s)|
|Central State Hospital |
Note: The majority of these records are filed by the year they were discharged/deceased, then by an identification number assigned by the hospital. If you do not know the month/year they were admitted, BHDID may not be able to locate the record.
Records for the Children’s Treatment Center are at CSH from 1980-1996 and have since been destroyed.
|Eastern State Hospital (Lexington)||1824|
|Frankfort State Hospital and School |
(Frankfort School for the Feeble-Minded)
|Kentucky State Hospital (Danville) |
Note: Records from 1942-1945 belong to the U.S. Army. Danville Youth Records from 1978-1983 belong to Protection and Permanency. Records from 1983-Current belong to the Kentucky Department of Corrections; contact Northpoint at 859-239-7012.
|Western State Hospital (Hopkinsville)||1854|
Information NOT Available Through BHDID
Orphanage/Adoption Records: These records are sealed and must have a court order to obtain these records, even if it is your own record. Contact Protection and Permanency at 502-564-3834. If the orphanage was owned by a church or private organization, Protection and Permanency will NOT have these records.
Tuberculosis Hospital Records: Contact the Kentucky Department of Public Health at: 502-564-3970.
Research. This step involves researching information about the person in which you want to request records for. You also need to check what types of records are available. Scroll down on this page to view this information. Some resources you can start with are Ancestry.com and Newspapers.com. While these are premium (paid) sites, most local libraries offer these completely free to patrons. FindAGrave.com is a free resource that can yield useful information as well. Additionally, your local library might be able to help you locate information on the person you want to obtain records about.
Types of information to look for:
- First and last names of the person (maiden name for women, if applicable or known)
- First and last names of the spouse
- First and last names of the parents (if applicable or known)
- State or country where the person was born
- Date of birth (if applicable or known)
- Birth certificate
- Date of death (if applicable or known)
- Death certificate
- Patient or inmate number (if applicable or known)
Please note that all of this information is not required. However, the more information you can obtain the better chances of locating the records.
Record. Please use the forms below to record all of the information that you have been able to obtain.
We recommend that you download and complete both forms.
Remit. Now it is time to mail the completed Records Request Form and any other documentation you have obtained to BHDID. The mailing address is listed on the form above.
Contributed by Mary Hatton (Posthumously) & Shawn Logan | firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2019, Hope M. Bryant