Series VPRS 7422
Index to Male and Female Case Books
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1848 - 1912
  Series in Custody 1848 - 1912
  Contents 1848 - 1912
Public Access: Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1848 - 1912 Yarra Bend (Asylum 1848-1905; Hospital for the Insane 1905-1925) VA 2839
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2009 - cont Department of Health III VA 4921
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    This series has been digitised and is available online. Access to the digitised records is available via the physical records details pages.

    Consult the Consignment Details List and order in the volumes covering the time period of interest. Turn to the alphabetical section covering the surname of the patient and locate the entry for the person of interest. Note down the date of admission, volume number and folio number for the relevant patient. Consult the Consignment Details List for VPRS 7399 Case Book of Male Patients or VPRS 7400 Case Book of Female Patients to locate the relevant volume referred to in the index.

  • Function / Content
    This volume is the index for VPRS 7399 Case Book of Male Patients and VPRS 7400 Case Books of Female Patients at the Yarra Bend Asylum. The volume is self-indexing, and was created by Yarra Bend Asylum (VA 2839) as an information management initiative in order to easily locate the case histories of patients who had been admitted to the asylum.

    From at least 1845 and the proclamation of An Act for the Regulation of the Care and Treatment of Lunatics (8 & 9 Vic c.100), each asylum was required to maintain a casebook of patients. The book was to be kept in such form as the Governor in Council was from time to time to direct. As soon as possible after the admission of any patient and periodically thereafter, the following details were to be entered into the casebook:

    - the mental state and bodily condition of every patient on admission
    - the history of his/her case recorded from time to time while he/she continued to be a patient in the asylum
    - a correct description of the medicine and other remedies prescribed for the treatment of his/her disorder
    - and in the case of death an exact account of the autopsy (if any) of the patient.

    Information recorded in the case histories includes personal and medical details as follows:

    date of admission, admission number, name and address of nearest relative, by whom brought to the asylum, previous residence, age and sex of patient, whether married, widowed or single, if any family, occupation, habits of life, form of insanity, duration of present attack, if disordered before/if disorder hereditary, specific signs of insanity, if suicidal;, if dangerous and destructive, bodily condition, case notes, and a description of the medicine and other remedies prescribed for the treatment of his/her disorder. The Case Books usually record whether a patient was transferred elsewhere, discharged or died in custody. A copy of the post-mortem report was sometimes included in cases of death.

    In later years the content of the Case Books was altered slightly. Reference was made to the admission number of the patient and a photograph of the patient on admission was often included. Additional information such as extracts from the required medical certificates and a copy of the Medical Superintendent's report on the mental and physical condition of the patient were often incorporated and additional space was provided for recording the history of each patient.

    These books were to be regularly inspected by an Inspector or other officer appointed under the provisions of the prevailing legislation. It was expected that a full account of the mental and physical condition of the patient would be entered in the casebook on admission of the patient with a further note to be made at the end of each month at least for the first six months and subsequently a full note every six months. However such thorough and accurate notes were not always maintained.

    In 1912 the format of case histories was changed from bound Case Books to a loose-leaf folio format, known as Patient Clinical Notes. The new format facilitated the transfer of case histories with the patients when they were sent to other institutions. Patient Clinical Notes are registered as a separate series.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Entries were listed alphabetically by patient surname. Each entry had a reference to a volume and folio number of the casebooks and the date of discharge/transfer/death of the patient. Male and female patients were listed separately.

    Legislation

    Lunacy Statute 1867, No.309
    Lunacy Amendment Act 1888, No.986
    Lunacy Act 1890
    Lunacy Act 1903, No.1873

More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide059 Mental Health Records
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1862 - 1912 Case Books of Female Patients VPRS 7400
1872 - 1912 Case Books of Male Patients VPRS 7399
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1848 - 1912 Open 1
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide059 Mental Health Records