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Seacliff Lunatic Asylum

July 20, 2010

This exhibition illustrates aspects of the history of Seacliff Lunatic Asylum (later known as the Seacliff Mental Hospital) using the archives held by Archives New Zealand Dunedin Regional Office.
The photographs and images show the buildings and grounds of the asylum and aspects of the administration, particularly the work of the medical superintendent. Examples of case records for selected patients show the legal process for committing a person to the asylum, their medical treatment and discharge, although some patients remained at the institution until their death.
The exhibition includes a digitised copy of the published report of the 1891 Committee of Inquiry into Frederic Truby King's management of the asylum. Frederic Truby King was the medical superintendent from 1889 to 1921. The Report highlights the reforms Truby King made in the care of the mentally ill.
The Seacliff Lunatic Asylum Exhibition can be seen here: Seacliff Lunatic Asylum Exhibition