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Asylum records

CoraWeb - helping you trace your family history



Monash University – History of Adoption Project. This site includes a bibliography, Australian adoption records information for Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. There are also links to relevant government and community contacts.

Find & Connect Australia is a resource for forgotten Australians, former child migrants and everyone with an interest in the history of out-of-home ‘care’ in Australia. Use this site to find information, including documents and images, about institutions, organisations that managed children's institutions, policies, public figures and legislation. There are no personal records or private information available.

New South Wales
Sydney Benevolent Asylum Index to Admissions and Discharges 1857-1900 by Heather Garnsey & Martyn Killion. The asylum was established in 1818 as a philanthropic organisation to care for the needy of Sydney. It served a vital role caring for the poor, abandoned, destitute and sick. This free online database indexes 78,000 names plus there is a free search service available to check for any additional information. 

State Records of New South Wales online guides include:
• Archives In Brief 59 - Child care and protection
• Archives In Brief 66 - Randwick Asylum for Destitute Children
• Archives In Brief 85 - Mental health facilities - Patient records
• Archives In Brief 86 - Infirm and destitute asylums - Inmate records
• Archives In Brief 87 - Liverpool State Hospital and Home - Inmate records

Asylum Records - Research Topic Guide by State Records of New South Wales. A comprehensive guide to what is available and how to access it. This guide also includes metal health records.

State Records New South Wales, Indexes Online, Child Welfare include: 
• Mittagong Farm Home for Boys (1907-1921) which lists names, birth date, age in years and months, committal date and remarks. There is also a list of boys transferred from the training ship Sobraon, June 1911, when it was abolished.
• Orphan schools (1817-1886). An index to records of Orphan Schools run by the NSW colonial government.
• Randwick Asylum for Destitute Children (1852-1915). A search returns page and entry number, names, alias, age, date and references.
Photocopies of the records can be ordered online, for a fee, using SRNSW’s Copy Service. 

Judy Webster's Genealogy Advice for Australia, especially Queensland. There are indexes to mental asylum patients including people suffering from epilepsy, depression and alcoholism. Look here for people who 'vanished'. There are separate indexes to several different series of records about mental asylum inmates (case books, Public Curator insanity files, Supreme Court insanity files, Colonial Secretary's Office in-letters, Annual Reports, etc.). Updated

Queensland State Archives - Brief Guides include:
• Brief Guide 26 - Dunwich and Eventide Records
• Brief Guide 39 - Insanity / Mental Asylum Records

South Australia
State Records of South Australia offers online name searching using ArchivesSearch. Records available include ledgers of children boarded out (1862-1913); registers of admissions to the Industrial School (1886-1922) and (1884-1893).

Find Your Way Home with SA Link-Up aims to assist Indigenous people find connections to family. The online guide (PDF) Finding Your Own Way details existing records of South Australian children's homes and institutions.

LINC Tasmania - Digital Tasmania is a project to digitise Tasmania's archival and heritage collections. A significant amount of material has been digitised and is available online for free. Original records include:
• Launceston Benevolent Asylum - Register of Admissions and Discharges (1898-1915)
• Launceston Benevolent Asylum - Report book of inspector on cases for which aid from Society had been sought, with index. (1

Mental Health digitised records held by the Public Record Office of Victoria include asylum records for: Ararat, Ballarat, Ballart/Sunbury, Beechworth, Bendigo receiving ward, Collingwood, Kew, Royal Park Hospital, Sunnyside Licensed House and Yarra Bend. A digitised copy of the Alphabetical Lists of Patients in Asylums 1849-1885 is also available. Updated

Public Record Office of Victoria online guides include:
• PROV Guide 59 - Mental Health Records
• PROV Guide 60 - Adoption, Wardship and Related Records

State Library of Victoria's Databases Online include the Darragh Index to the Melbourne German Sick and Relief Society membership 1861-1924. This Society also known as Deutscher Krankenverein, was founded in 1861. It provided sickness and death benefits to members and also supported members and others who were needy or out of work.

Western Australia
State Records Office of Western Australia collection guide Hospitals and Health Records covers Mental Health Institutions. 

© Cora Num 1997-2013. Last updated 19 November 2013