Inventory of the Department of Mental Hygiene - Sonoma State Hospital Records

Processed by The California State Archives staff; supplementary encoding and revision supplied by Brooke Dykman Dockter.
California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 653-2246
Fax: (916) 653-7363
Email: ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov
URL: http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/
© 2000
California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the Department of Mental Hygiene - Sonoma State Hospital next hit Records

Collection Number: F3501, F3607, VB3:P27(1-153), VB4:P58 (1-16)



California State Archives

Office of the Secretary of State

Sacramento, California

Contact Information:

  • California State Archives
  • 1020 "O" Street
  • Sacramento, California 95814
  • Phone: (916) 653-2246
  • Fax: (916) 653-7363
  • Email: ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov
  • URL: http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/
Processed by:
California State Archives staff
© 2000 California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Department of Mental Hygiene - previous hit Sonoma State Hospital next hit Records
Dates: 1885-1966
Collection number: F3501, F3607, VB3:P27(1-153), VB4:P58 (1-16)
Creator: California Home for the Care and Training of Feeble-Minded Children, 1885-1915; Sonoma State Home, 1915-1921; Department of Institutions - Homes for the Feeble-Minded - Sonoma State Home, 1921-1945; Department of Mental Hygiene - Homes for the Feeble-Minded - previous hit Sonoma State Home, 1945-1953; next hit Department of Mental Hygiene - State Hospitals - previous hit Sonoma State Hospital next hit , 1953-1972
Collection Size: 139 volumes, 266 file folders, 173 photographs, 4 items
Repository: California State Archives
Sacramento, California
Abstract: The records of the Department of Mental Hygiene - previous hit Sonoma State Hospital next hit consist of 139 volumes, 266 file folders, 173 photographs, and 4 items spanning the period 1884-1966. The records are organized into one series of photographs and four subgroups: Board of Trustees Records, Superintendents Records, Medical Records Division, and Fiscal and Facility Files.
Physical location: California State Archives
Language: English

Administrative Information

Access

While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Department of Mental Hygiene - previous hit Sonoma State Hospital next hit Records, [ID number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

Acquisition and Custodial History

The California State Archives acquired the Department of Mental Hygiene - previous hit Sonoma State Hospital next hit Records in a series of transfers according to state law.

Agency History

The California Home for the Care and Training of Feeble-Minded Children was created in 1885 ( Statutes 1885, Chapter 156) and was originally located in the town of Santa Clara. The Home was charged with caring for children between the ages of five and eighteen who were "incapable of receiving instructions in the common schools." Soon after its official creation, the facilities proved to be inadequate. In 1889, the William McPherson Hill farm, some 1,660 acres and near the town of Glen Ellen, was purchased for $50,000 as a site for a new home. On November 24, 1891, the physical move was made to the new site. The name of the institution was changed to Sonoma State Home in 1915 ( Statutes 1915, Chapter 60).
Initially, previous hit Sonoma State Home existed more or less as an autonomous unit, although a uniform system of government for the state hospitals next hit , under the control of the State Commission in Lunacy, had been provided as early as 1897 ( Statutes 1897, Chapter 227). In 1921 Sonoma State Home was placed under the Department of Institutions, which was created to centralize authority, finances, and management at the various state institutions ( Statutes 1921, Chapter 610). The Department of Institutions was later superseded by the Department of Mental Hygiene ( Statutes 1945, Chapter 665). Sonoma State Home was renamed previous hit Sonoma State Hospital next hit in 1953 ( Statutes 1953, Chapter 661). In 1972, the Department of Health assumed the duties and responsibilities of the Department of Mental Hygiene ( Statutes 1971, Chapter 1593). Yet another reorganization occurred in 1978, when the Department of Health was abolished and the state hospitals were placed under the newly created Department of Developmental Services ( Statutes 1977, Chapter 1252). The previous hit Sonoma State Hospital next hit was renamed Sonoma Developmental Center in 1985 ( Statutes 1985, Chapter 582).

Scope and Content

The records of the Department of Mental Hygiene - previous hit Sonoma State Hospital next hit comprise 139 volumes, 266 file folders, 173 photographs, and 4 items spanning the period 1884-1972. The records are organized first with records directly under the record group, followed by four subgroups: Board of Trustees Records, Superintendents Records, Medical Records Division Records, and Fiscal and Facility Files.
The Photographs series consists of 173 photographs that document the hospital building, cottages, and grounds. Photographs also depict patient and staff participation in various activities, events, and holiday festivities.
The Board of Trustees records include board meeting minutes and reports dating from 1885-1929. The Superintendent's Records consist of letterbooks, correspondence, monthly statements and reports related to the cost of supporting patients. Also present are General Office Files, which consist of Selected Archives material such as committee reports, minutes, and administrative files.
The Medical Records Division records relate to the admission, care and discharge of hospital patients. Registers of Applications dating from 1884-1949 contain information about individuals whose family members applied for their admission to the hospital. Some of these volumes contain indexes, while others may be accessed through the Index of Applicants, 1922-1940. Case Books and Personal Descriptions (Medical Histories) provide detailed information about patients' family and medical history, as well as their behavior, appearance, and other personal information. The Medical Records Division records also consist of an Index of Inmates (Patients) Deceased or Discharged, Admission Records, Records of Absentees, Parole Records, and Spasm Records.
The Fiscal and Facility Files reveal information about routine operations of the hospital facilities. Steward's Monthly Reports contain daily attendance data, costs of hospital departments, and expenditures for equipment and supplies. Also of interest are Departmental Accounting Books, which document labor performed by patients; General Accounting Records, which detail business transactions with local creditors; and Facility Files, which contain bids, estimates and contracts pertaining to facility construction or furnishing of supplies.

Accruals

Further accruals are expected.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Mental health - California
Developmental disabilities
Mental health facilities

Related Collections at the California State Archives

California State Agricultural Society Records (ODC1:2-14)
Department of Mental Hygiene Records
Governor's Papers, Dairy Production and Costs (GP3:159)
Legislative Papers, Operations of State Institutions (LP9:1-9)
Legislative Papers, Superintendent's Report of Operations (LP9:32)

Arrangement and Description

See Scope and Content for ID numbers.

Series 1 Photographs 1907-1958

Physical Description: 174 items

Arrangement

Arranged by size of photograph.

Access Information

A number of records in this series are restricted under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5328 because they contain confidential patient information. Photographs that do not reveal the identity of hospital patients are available for research.

Scope and Content Note

This series contains photographs that depict various hospital programs and services, daily patient activities, and the hospital buildings and grounds.
(VB3:P27(1-153)) Hospital grounds, buildings, staff members, patient activities, holidays and other festivities.
(VB4:P58 (1-16)) Hospital building, cottages and grounds.
(F3607) Exhibits at the California State Agricultural Society, the hospital Cornerstone Ceremony, and the front of the main hospital building. Also includes a newspaper commemorating the 75th anniversary of the hospital.
 

Board of Trustees Records

F3607:1-17

Series 1 Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes 1885-1922

Physical Description: 17 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

Official meeting minutes from the Board of Trustees (also called the Board of Managers). Includes various topics and subjects brought under consideration of the Board.
F3607:18-26(a-c)

Series 2 Reports 1885-1929

Physical Description: 8 volumes and 4 File Folders

Arrangement

Arranged by type of report (See Scope and Content).

Scope and Content Note

(F3607:18-22) Annual and biennial reports created by or retained by the Board of Trustees, 1886-1890.
(F3607:23-26) Biennial reports for the years 1893-1897 and 1905-1906.
In addition to the annual and biennial reports, this series also contains the following:
(F3607:26a-b) Miscellaneous reports, which include reports regarding financial operations; legislative investigation of Jessup Trust Fund misuse by Superintendent William M. Lawlor, 1902; Commission on Site correspondence regarding activities and proposals submitted to the Board for relocation of facilities, 1889; and the investigation into management of vacated institution properties in Santa Clara, 1895.
(F3607:20) Rules and Regulations Governing Officers and Employees, 1886.
(F3607:26c) Rules and Regulations of the State Commission in Lunacy for the Sonoma State Home, 1909.
(F3607:26c) Report of the California Commission for the Studies of Problem Children, 1929.
(F3607:26c) Institution Bulletins, 1889-1896 (incomplete).
(F3607:26c) Sonoma, Valley of the Moon History Pamphlet.
(F3607:20) Christmas carol song book, 1894.
 

Superintendents' Records

F3607:27-50

Series 1 Letterbooks, General 1887-1910

Physical Description: 24 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

Letterbooks consist of correspondence to parents of patients regarding care and well-being; to Board of Trustee members; State Officials, including Governor's Office, Treasurer, Controller, Board of Examiners and Legislature regarding operations of institution; jobbers and contractors supplying goods and merchandise, county officials and individuals regarding placement of mentally retarded children, and general correspondence.

Note

Many letter copies have faded to the point that they are illegible. In a few cases, pages have been removed from the letter books. Most volumes indexed.
F3607:51-73

Series 2 Letterbooks, Patients 1900-1910

Physical Description: 24 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

Consisting of letters to parents and others regarding care and well-being of inmates. Correspondence gives some insight into institutional programs of this era. Most volumes indexed.
F3607:74-76

Series 3 Letterbooks, Fiscal 1899-1909

Physical Description: 3 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

General correspondence with State Officials, contractors and jobbers regarding fiscal operations of institutions, contracts and goods supplied thereunder, facilities planning, construction and maintenance.
F3607:77-81(a)

Series 4 Monthly Statements to Counties 1897-1909

Physical Description: 5 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by month and year.

Scope and Content Note

Statements to counties relative to monies owed for support of patients.
F3607:82

Series 5 Monthly Reports of the Home Contingent Fund 1897-1909

Physical Description: 1 volume

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by month and year.

Scope and Content Note

Receipts into the fund.
F3607:83-142

Series 6 Correspondence, Incoming 1895-1911

Physical Description: 60 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged roughly chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

Applications for admission; letters from parents of inmates regarding care and well-being; letters from State Officials, including Governor's Office, Treasurer, Controller, Board of Examiners and Legislature regarding operation of institution; letters from jobbers and contractors supplying goods and merchandise, applications for positions; correspondence received by Mrs. A. E. Osborne, wife of Superintendent, and general correspondence regarding operations of the institution.
F3501:1-195

Series 7 General Office Files 1927-1938, 1949-1966

Physical Description: 195 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged by subject (See Appendix A).

Access Information

One file folder in this series is restricted under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5328 because it contains confidential patient information.

Scope and Content Note

Records in this series are part of Selected Archives and include the working papers and meeting minutes of various previous hit Sonoma State Hospital committees; special reports, correspondence and surveys related to the Department of Mental Hygiene; administrative material regarding building programs, employee training, and rehabilitation programs; and research projects and studies covering topics like influenza vaccines, polio, tranquilizing drugs, "gargoylism," "mongolism," and metabolic disorders.
See Appendix A in Master Finding Aid at the California State Archives for a list of files.
 

Medical Records Division

F3607:143-151

Series 1 Registers of Applications 1884-1949

Physical Description: 9 volumes

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Due to the fragile condition of the original volumes, researchers are required to access this series on microfilm (MF8:11(14)).

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date of application.

Access Information

Volumes in this series that are less than 75 years old are restricted under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5328 because they contain confidential patient information.

Scope and Content Note

Registers of applications contain information on potential patients whose relatives or guardians applied for their admittance to the hospital. Entries include applicant name, date of application, age, diagnosis, and place of residence. Entries also state whether or not applicants were granted admittance. Early volumes include indexes, while later volumes have separate indexes (See Series 2).
F3607:152-153

Series 2 Indexes of Applicants 1922-1940

Physical Description: 2 volumes

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Due to the fragile condition of the original volumes, researchers are required to access this series on microfilm (MF8:11(14)).

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by applicant's surname.

Access Information

Volumes in this series that are less than 75 years old are restricted under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5328 because they contain confidential patient information.

Scope and Content Note

Indexes to registers of applications (See Series 1).
F3607:154-156

Series 3 Index of Inmates (Patients) Deceased or Discharged 1885-1947

Physical Description: 3 volumes

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Due to the fragile condition of the original volumes, researchers are required to access this series on microfilm (MF8:11(15)).

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by patient's surname.

Access Information

Volumes in this series that are less than 75 years old are restricted under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5328 because they contain confidential patient information.

Scope and Content Note

Serves as an index to admissions. Contains patient name and date of death or discharge.
F3607:157

Series 4 Application List Record Book 1884-1898

Physical Description: 1 volume

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Due to the fragile condition of the original volumes, researchers are required to access this series on microfilm (MF8:11(15)).

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date of application.

Scope and Content Note

Contains information on potential patients whose relatives or guardians applied for their admittance to the hospital. Includes name of applicant, age, place of residence, and notes made by hospital staff. Entries also state whether or not applicants were granted admittance.
F3607:158-164

Series 5 Case Books and Personal Descriptions (Medical Histories) 1885-1887, 1900-1920

Physical Description: 7 volumes

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Due to the fragile condition of the original volumes, researchers are required to access this series on microfilm (MF8:11(15)-MF8:11(17)).

Arrangement

Personal descriptions (medical histories) are arranged numerically by patient number, assigned chronologically. Case books are arranged by gender, and by patient number thereunder.

Scope and Content Note

Case Books and Personal Descriptions contain information about patients' family and medical history, behavior, appearance, occupation, and nationality. Many entries include remarks made by hospital staff members about a patient's general history.
F3607:165

Series 6 Admission Record 1910-1914

Physical Description: 1 volume

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Due to the fragile condition of the original volumes, researchers are required to access this series on microfilm (MF8:11(17)).

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by patient surname.

Scope and Content Note

Includes date and time of admission, diagnosis, name of visiting physician, placement within the facility, and date of discharge.
F3607:166

Series 7 Record of Absentees 1899-1917

Physical Description: 1 volume

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Due to the fragile condition of the original volumes, researchers are required to access this series on microfilm (MF8:11(17)).

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date of release or discharge.

Scope and Content Note

A record of patients released or discharged to parents or guardians.
F3607:167-168

Series 8 Parole Record 1918-1944

Physical Description: 2 volumes

Alternative Form of Materials Available

Due to the fragile condition of the original volumes, researchers are required to access this series on microfilm (MF8:11(17)).

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by patient surname.

Access Information

Volumes in this series that are less than 75 years old are restricted under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5328 because they contain confidential patient information. Please note: F3607:167 is not restricted as of June 22, 2010, as it only contains records from circa 1918-1934. Please note: F3607:168 is still restricted as of June 22, 2010, as it contains records dating to circa 1935-1944.

Scope and Content Note

Parole records include date of release, name of relative or guardian responsible for patient, and date of return or discharge.
F3607:169

Series 9 Spasms Record 1913-1917

Physical Description: 1 volume

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

Contains daily lists of patients who experienced seizures and what time of day they occurred.
 

Fiscal and Facility Records

F3607:170-178

Series 1 Steward's Monthly Reports 1899-1947

Physical Description: 9 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by month.

Scope and Content Note

Daily attendance data, costs of departments, expenditures for food, supplies, and equipment.
F3607:179-181

Series 2 Departmental Account Books 1891-1894, 1896

Physical Description: 3 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date of record.

Scope and Content Note

Reports of labor performed by inmates and departmental expenditures.
F3607:182-198a

Series 3 General Accounting Records 1885-1922, 1932-1936

Physical Description: 18 volumes

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date of record.

Scope and Content Note

Journals, ledgers and day books with references to daily receipts and expenditures. Several volumes contain running accounts of business transactions with creditors supplying goods and services. One volume (F3607:198a) contains an inventory of equipment and furniture, 1932-1936.
F3607:199-204, 206-208

Series 4 Facility Files 1888-1889

Physical Description: 6 file folders and 3 items

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date of record.

Scope and Content Note

Bids, estimates, contracts and faithful performance bonds. All material pertains to construction of facilities or proposals to furnish supplies and merchandise. Also includes three maps of institution grounds (undated).
F3607:205

Series 5 Monthly Report of the Treasurer 1910-1911

Physical Description: 1 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Scope and Content Note

Monthly reports of receipts and disbursements.