Preserving the History of Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing In New York State

A guide to locating psychiatric/mental health nursing records in NYS


Please contact the Foundation of NYS Nurses for further information.  See "Using This Guide" for details.

Middletown Psychiatric Center
Collection dates:  1874-1978
Size:  19 cubic feet

Middletown Psychiatric Center, founded in 1874, is part of the New York State Office of Mental Health system and offers treatment for adults with complex mental illnesses.  It was previously known as Middletown Homeopathic Hospital and Middletown State Hospital.  Other records for the Middletown Psychiatric Center can be found in the New York State Archives (see entry on page 24) and the Historical Society of Middletown (page 23).

Includes: Annual reports, facility information, photos, slides, clippings and scrapbooks.

Location:               122 Dorothea Dix Drive, Middletown, NY 10940


Mount Sinai Medical Center
Collection dates:  1997-2005
Size:  9 cubic feet

The Mount Sinai Medical Center includes The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, which admitted its first students in 1968.  Prior to the development of the School of Medicine, Mount Sinai operated a School of Nursing which was established in 1881 and closed in 1971.  The Mount Sinai School of Nursing records can be found in the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Levy Library (page 23).

Includes:  Budgets reflecting support for nursing, committee assignments/responsibilities/minutes, completed performance evaluations, facility information, incident reports, interdisciplinary communication/collaboration, patient/family feedback re nursing care, performance evaluation criteria, policy/procedure manuals, quality assurance records, recruitment materials, staffing patterns/ratios/schedules, titles/position descriptions, workshop/seminar/continuing education outlines/notes.

Location:               One Gustave L. Levy Place, 1190 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029


Pilgrim State Hospital, Central Islip Hospital, King’s Park State Hospital
Collection dates:  1867-1983
Size:  over 50 cubic feet

Pilgrim State Hospital was created by the Legislature in 1929 and named for Dr. Charles W. Pilgrim, Commissioner of Mental Health in the early 1900s.  The hospital officially opened for the care and treatment of patients on 825 acres with 100 patients transferred from Central Islip State Hospital on October 1, 1931. Nine months later, 2,018 patients were hospitalized at Pilgrim.  The census rose to its peak in 1954, with 13,875 patients.  Kings Park Psychiatric Center (established in 1869) and Central Islip Psychiatric Center (established in 1887) were consolidated and relocated to the Pilgrim campus in the Fall of 1996 when those facilities were closed.  The following Fall, those facilities were merged into Pilgrim Psychiatric Center under one name.  Other Central Islip Hospital records can be found at the Central Islip Historical Society.  The items listed below are housed in the museum of Pilgrim Psychiatric Center.  The records of the three facilities have been commingled over the years, making it difficult to identify which records originated at which hospital.

Includes: Annual reports, blueprints, correspondence, department records, intake book, ledgers, maps, notebooks, Occupational Therapy Department records including correspondence, lectures, notes and photographs, patient records, photographs, publications including newspapers and nursing manuals, School of Nursing records including correspondence, affiliation records and yearbooks.

Location:               998 Crooked Hill Road, West Brentwood, NY 11717


Rochester Psychiatric Center
Collection dates:  1868-2005

Previously Rochester State Hospital, the Rochester Psychiatric Center is part of the New York State Office of Mental Health system and provides comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation services to people with psychiatric disabilities working toward recovery.  The Rochester State Hospital operated a school of nursing on its premises from 1890 through 1973.  Following is a description of the three distinct records series held by the psychiatric center.

Location:               1111 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620
      1)   Rochester Psychiatric Center
Collection dates:  1968-2005
Size:  over 50 cubic feet
Includes: Annual reports, Board of Trustees minutes, building/grounds records, committee assignments/responsibilities/minutes, correspondence (internal/external), facility information, interdisciplinary feedback re nursing care, policy/procedure manuals, public relations records, recruitment materials, staffing patterns/ratios/schedules, titles/position descriptions, workshop/seminar/continuing education outlines.
2)    Rochester State Hospital
Collection dates:  1868-1969
Size:  200 cubic feet

Includes:  Medical certifications of lunacy, applications for employment, inspection reports, annual reports, prescription records, reports and related correspondence, cash ledgers, staff meetings, architectural records, correspondence and blueprints for Nurses’ Home, farm ledgers, commission letters, case notes, photographs.  Also various series of correspondence: State departments & commissions; vendors; business.

3)    Rochester State Hospital School of Nursing
Collection dates:  1889-1973
Size:  100 cubic feet
Includes: Annual reports, reports of committees (includes reports from other State Schools of Nursing), Training School Committee (TSC), TSC circular letters (Cadet   Nurses), time sheets, National League for Nursing (NLN) guidelines, NLN reports, State Education Department materials and reports, yearbooks, curriculum, Alumni Association records.


Saratoga Hospital

Saratoga Hospital is a 243-bed community hospital serving Saratoga County and the surrounding area.  It was founded in 1891 to meet the needs of the community.  The Saratoga Hospital system now encompasses Wilson Medical Arts, Diagnostic Centers and Laboratory Sites, Saratoga Surgery Center and Saratoga Care Nursing Home.

Includes: Completed performance evaluations, education records, incident reports, quality assurance records, patient feedback re nursing care, performance evaluation criteria, policy/procedure manuals, staffing patterns/ratios/schedules.

Location:               211 Church Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


Sisters of Charity Hospital
Collection dates:  1849-2005
Size:  150 cubic feet

Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, New York was founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1848.  In 1860 the Sisters, who had by that time joined the French order of the Daughters of Charity, founded the Buffalo Lunatic Asylum.  (The name was later changed to Providence Retreat in 1905.)  In 1894, affiliation with various schools of nursing began to provide education in psychiatric nursing.  Providence Retreat closed in 1943.  Records for the hospital, schools of nursing and Providence Retreat can be found at the Hospital.  Other Providence Retreat records are housed at the Daughters of Charity Archives in Albany, NY (page 22).

Includes: School of Nursing records (c. 1891-1989): yearbooks, student records, graduate rosters and photographs, catalogs evaluations and accreditations.  Hospital records (1849-present): Board of Trustees minutes, administrative records, financial records, photographs, blueprints and architects drawings.  Providence Retreat records (1860-1941): financial ledgers, journals of accounts, photographs and register of patients logbooks.

 Location:               2157 Main Street, Buffalo, NY  14214

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital
Collection dates:  2004-2005
Size:  12 cubic feet

Since October 1924, Soldiers and Sailors Hospital has provided comprehensive patient services.  Dedicated to those from Yates County who served in World War I, the Hospital was founded by a group of area residents and businessmen following an ambitious fund­raising campaign.   The Hospital expanded its facilities during the mid­1950s, beginning a series of construction projects that continued throughout the next four decades.  Outpatient and inpatient mental health services began in 1989.

Includes: Correspondence (internal/external), patient/family feedback regarding nursing care.

Location:               418 North Main Street, Penn Yan, NY  14527


South Beach Psychiatric Center
Collection dates:  2002-2005
Size:  9 cubic feet

South Beach Psychiatric Center is part of the New York State Office of Mental Health system and provides intermediate level inpatient services to persons living in western Brooklyn, southern Staten Island, and Manhattan.  It also operates a specialized eight bed inpatient unit for monolingual Chinese patients residing in its catchment area who are in need of intermediate care.  It partners with 12 other facilities and provides a wide range of specialized services to diverse groups of patients.

Includes: Annual reports, committee assignments/responsibilities/minutes, completed performance evaluations, interdisciplinary communication/collaboration, policy/procedure manuals, staffing patterns/ratios/schedules, titles/position descriptions, workshop/seminar/continuing education outlines/notes.

Location:               777 Seaview Avenue, Staten Island, NY  10305


St. Vincent Catholic Medical Center of New York – Staten Island Division
Collection dates:  2003-2005
Size:  12 cubic feet

The Sisters of Charity of New York founded St. Vincent's Staten Island Division in 1903.  Beginning as a 74-bed facility on a former estate, the hospital underwent several building expansions in 1930, 1961, 1978 and, most recently, in 1989, bringing it to its current bed complement of 440.

Includes: Academic transcripts, assignment descriptions, codes of conduct, completed student performance evaluations, course catalogs, curriculum plans, examination/test/quiz questions, lecture/class notes, lesson plans, newsletters, orientation material, presentations to students/educators, reading lists/syllabi, student association records, student evaluation criteria, student evaluations of classes/courses, yearbooks.

Location:               355 Bard Avenue, Staten Island, NY  10310


Steuben County Community Mental Health Center
Collection dates:  1969-2005
Size:  1000 cubic feet

Steuben County Community Mental Health Center (SCCMHC) provides a full range of outpatient mental health services.  The Center is administered by the Director of Community Services. The Center operates four offices located in Bath, Corning, Hornell and Wayland. 

Includes: Admission records, charting and treatment plans/criteria, client caseload, continuing/in-service education materials, criteria for evaluating patient/family outcomes, discharge records, incident reports, inventories/invoices, legal documents and decisions, nurse-interdisciplinary team interaction, nurse-nurse interaction re patient/family care, nurse-patient/family interaction, patient records, patient/family feedback, performance evaluations, personnel records, policies and procedures, referral records, standards of care, training and orientation manuals, workshop/seminar/continuing education outlines/notes.

Location:               115 Liberty Street, Bath, NY 14810


Visiting Nurses Association of Albany
Collection dates:  2000-2005

Founded in 1880, the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) is a certified, not-for-profit home health agency providing skilled nursing, home health aides, and rehabilitation services to residents of Albany, Saratoga and Rensselaer counties. The VNA has a long history of providing comprehensive “in-home” services to the community.  Among its wide array of health care providers are community mental health nurses.

Includes: Annual reports, completed performance evaluations, performance evaluation criteria, titles/position descriptions.

Location:               35 Colvin Avenue, Albany, NY 12206


Visiting Nurses Association of Western New York

The Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York/VNA Home Care Services are the largest home health agency in Western New York.  The Visiting Nurses Association of Western New York was founded by Elizabeth Coe Marshall who believed home care should be provided for all, regardless of their ability to pay, and created the non-profit organization dedicated to that concept.  Marshall approached her church, the First Presbyterian, for monetary support, which it provided.  Mary Taylor, a graduate of the Buffalo General School, was hired as the first visiting nurse.  Elizabeth Coe Marshall died in 1892, by which time the VNA of Western New York was firmly established. 

Includes: Completed performance evaluations, facility information, incident reports, titles/position descriptions.

Location:               2100 Wehrle Drive, Williamsville, NY 14221


Foundation of New York State Nurses
The Veronica M. Driscoll Center for Nursing
2113 Western Avenue, Suite 1
Guilderland, New York 12084-9559
(518) 456-7858 . FAX (518) 452-3760

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Last revised: July 25, 2005
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