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Over the centuries, there has been a paradigm shift in thinking about how to deal with persons with mental illness. A number of innovations in this area came about in Massachusetts, including the innovative work of the social reformer Dorothea Dix. This digital collection brings together annual reports from the Northampton State Hospital, which was opened in 1858 to provide moral therapy to the "insane" and was under the superintendency of Pliny Earle, a contemporary of Dix. Here visitors can look over annual reports from the hospital from the 19th century to 1939. First-time visitors should look over A Brief History of the Northampton State Hospital on the homepage and then move on to read a few of the reports in question. The documents were digitized by librarian Leonard Adams, and the reports containe extensive commentary on the conditions of mental health care provisions in the commonwealth. Taken as a whole, these documents provide interested parties with a fantastic introduction to the history of mental health treatment in the United States.
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