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Inventory of the Department of Mental Hygiene - Sonoma State Hospital Records
F3501, F3607, VB3:P27(1-153), VB4:P58 (1-16)  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History
  • Scope and Content
  • Accruals
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Collections at the California State Archives

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Department of Mental Hygiene - 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)