Collection Facts

Extent: 
148 items
Dates of Original: 
c. 1869-1995
Collection Owner:
NYH Topic Area(s):

Historical Context

Willard Asylum for the Insane was named after Dr. Sylvester Willard (1825-1865) Secretary of the State Medical Society, who was appointed to investigate the living conditions of the chronic and pauper insane residing in the poor houses in New York and following an Act passed April 20, 1864. In January 1865, Dr. Willard presented his report. On April 8, 1865 a law passed to create an asylum for persons with chronic mental conditions and pauper insane named Willard Asylum in memory of Dr. Willard who passed away days before the law was passed. The Willard Asylum for the Insane opened in 1869. In 1890, it became the Willard State Hospital, and in 1974 the Willard Psychiatric Center, until closing in 1995.

Scope of Collection

The Willard Psychiatric Center Collection includes black and white photographs taken during the mid-twentieth century of various buildings located on the grounds of the former Willard Psychiatric Center. The sixty-one images were created by an unknown photographer and donated by a private collector in 2016.
The collection also contains a two-volume scrapbook organized by former Willard Physician Dr. Horace G. Hopkins (1843-1918) and his wife, Anne Maycock Hopkins (1847-1919). Additionally, the collection includes postcards, employee newsletters New Directions, and various annual reports.