RBCM Archives

Series GR-1754 - Mental hospital records

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Mental hospital records

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  • textual material

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  • 1872-1962 (Creation)
    Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale

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Physical description

Originals, 3.4 m

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Name of creator

Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale (1913-1965)

Biographical history

Institution which was located in present-day Coquitlam. On April 1, 1965 the Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale united with the Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine, Essondale to form Riverview Hospital, Essondale

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Scope and content

This material was transferred from Riverview Hospital in 1987 and includes admission registers from 1872, the first year of operation of the new Mental Health Services Branch of the Provincial Secretary. Until 1877, when the new asylum was built in New Westminster, the asylum was located on the Songhees reserve in Victoria's inner harbour. The 22 volumes in this accession include - in addition to the admission registers (1872-1902 and 1913-1960) - case histories (1887-1908), patients registers (alphabetical lists of patients) (1900-1913 and 1922-1946), probation records (1911-1939), a patient transfer book (1918-1962) and a book of medical certificates of death (1911-1915). The registers contain much useful information, including age, sex, marital status, paying or free, date of admission, religion, country of birth, present residence, duration of mental malady, diagnosis, supposed cause, number of attacks, occupation, degree of education and bodily state on admission. The admission registers are an index to the patient files because the register number assigned at admission was used as the patient file number. For later registers from the mental hospitals (1947-1971) see GR 3019. For case files from the mental hospitals (1872-1942) see GR 2880. Although BCARS does hold some alphabetical registers, they do not constitute a complete alphabetical index to admissions. The records office at Riverview Hospital retains a complete index to case files. GR-1754 also includes the journal of W. Mackie (February 8 - March 2, 1935), who accompanied 65 Chinese patients who were deported to China in 1935. The journal lists the names of the patients and gives information about their voyage. The annual report of the mental hospital for 1935 (Sessional Papers 1936) mentions that 65 Chinese patients were repatriated that year.

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Physical condition

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Transferred in 1987.


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Restrictions on access

These records are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or other acts and access may be restricted. Please contact the BC Archives to determine the access status of these records.

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General note

Accession number(s): 91-4291; 91-3430; G87-001; G87-080

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