Series VPRS 7429
Annual and Quinquennial Examination Registers
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1889 - 1960
  Series in Custody 1889 - 1960
  Contents 1889 - 1960
Public Access: Part 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
1889 - 1960 Kew (Asylum 1871-1905; Hospital for the Insane 1905-1934; Mental Hospital 1934-c.1970's; Mental/Psychiatric Hospital c.1970's-1988) VA 2840
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
    Annual and Quinquennial Examination Registers

    Section 17 of the Lunacy Amendment Act 1888 required that each patient in every asylum, philanthropic hospital and cottage for the reception of patients and every boarded-out patient was to be examined annually by a medical practitioner appointed by the Governor-in-Council in order to determine their sanity or insanity and to inquire into their general health. This was to occur at least once in every twelve consecutive months of the detention or supervision of the patient. Under a provision of the 1888 Act, the medical practitioner was not to be an employee of any of the asylums. This provision was a direct result of the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Insane and Inebriate 1882-1884 (Zox Commission). Many witnesses before the Commission had alleged that patients were unnecessarily detained in the asylums.

    The legislation requiring an annual examination of patients was amended by the Lunacy Act 1903 section 88. From 1905 patients were to be examined once every twelve months for their first three years in residence and subsequently once every five years by the Superintendent of the asylum or in the case of a licensed house, by the Government Medical Officer. A report was then to be made to the Inspector-General of the Lunacy Department who in turn reported to the Chief Secretary (from 1950, reports were sent to the Chief Medical Officer of the Mental Hygiene Branch).

    Annual Examination of Patients Registers - Kew

    This series records the date of the required annual examination of patients at the Kew Asylum and the Kew Idiot Asylum (later known as the Childrens Cottages) between 1889 and 1960.

    These volumes are all self-indexing. Entries are arranged alphabetically by patient name and then listed in chronological order by date of admission. There are separate listings for male and female patients.

    Details recorded include:

    the date of reception (admission)
    the patient's full name
    the date of the last examination
    the date of subsequent examinations
    the death of the patient is recorded by a red line through the details and/or date of death.

    The first four units in the P2 consignment are consecutive, with some slight overlapping of dates. Unit 1 of the P2 consignment continues listing both Kew Asylum and Children's Cottages details, however after this separate registers are kept for each institution.

    Unit 5 of the P2 consignment is a journal which covers the period 1953 to 1960. The Childrens Cottage register for this period is not extant. The journal notes which patients are due for examination and is arranged chronologically on a monthly basis. The listings are divided into "annuals" and "quinquennial", and again into male and female headings.

    The Units in the P1 consignment can be used to locate entries in the following series if the patient's date of admission is unknown to the researcher:

    VPRS 7397 Case Books of Female Patients 1871-1912 (Kew)
    VPRS 7398 Case Books of Male Patients 1871-1912 (Kew)
    VPRS 7419 Case Books of Female Patients 1887-1912 (Children's Cottage)
    VPRS 7420 Case Books of Male Patients 1887-1912 (Children's Cottage)

    This series has been transferred in two consignments. The P1 consignment from the Charles Brothers Museum in Parkville and the P2 consignment from Kew Mental/Psychiatric Hospital.

    System of Arrangement/Control

    Volumes are self indexing, with entries for patients arranged alphabetically by surname.

    Range of Control Symbols

    P1/Series: No control symbols apparent
    Contents: A-Z

    P2/Series: incorrect dates given on spine of volumes 1, 2, 4.
    Contents: A-Z for volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 Jan 1953-Feb 1960 for volume 5

    Legislation

    Lunacy Amendment Act 1888, No.986
    Lunacy Act 1903, No.1873

  • Function / Content


  • Recordkeeping System


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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1889 - 1911 Open 2
P0002 1909 - 1960 Closed 5
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