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Columbus Institute for Feeble Minded

Replies: 12

Re: Columbus Institute for Feeble Minded

Posted: 1353948677000
Classification: Query
Sure! Here is an exact copy of the email I received.My email is, just shoot me an email and I'll send one back with the form. It won't let me upload on here.

Dear Robin,

Thank you for contacting the Ohio Historical Society. We hold the following residential records for the Columbus State Institute (aka Columbus Feeble Minded Institution or Columbus State School ).

1. Male Patients’ Clothing Record, 1909-1920 (call#: State Archives Series 887)

2. Admission Questionnaire Book, November 18, 1881-November 1882 & February 18, 1902-July 22, 1902 (call#: State Archives Series 957)

3. County Admission Application Book, 1910-1950 (call#: State Archives Series 1397)

4. Admission Application Book, 1881-1905 (call#: State Archives Series 1465)

5. County Admission Book, 1868-1968 (call#: State Archives Series 1466)

6. Admission Application Book Index, 1881-1898 (call#: State Archives Series 2126)

7. Admission Book, 1860s-1969 (call#: State Archives Series 2433)

8. County Clothing Account Book with Auditor of State, 1915-1919 (call#: State Archives Series 2434)

9. List of Burials, 1906-1970 (call#: State Archives Series 4606)

None of the collections listed above will contain a full medical history case file. The best way to find out what each of the record series contains is to review our Online Collection Catalog at: You can access our archives’ holdings by choosing the "Archives/Library Collections" search option. In the Call# box, type the word “series” and the number of the collection that fits the time period you wish to have researched. For example, if you were interested in the Admission Book, you would type: series 2433. The summary section of the item’s description will tell you exactly what to expect from the record group.

Ohio law states that only the closest living relative of a deceased resident is allowed to request information from mental health facility records held by the Ohio Historical Society. The record books and files are restricted from public review, even by the closest living relative. The closest living relative does have the option to request that the staff of the Ohio Historical Society review the records for a resident's entries.

You will find a Mental Health Request Form attached with this message. Please have the closest living relative complete the form and return it to the Ohio Historical Society through the postal service. Once we have received the completed form from the closest living relative, we will search the record books for information about Rica Ver West. It is helpful if you can provide any biographical information that you know about your relative or her institutionalization. You can provide that information on a separate piece of paper or on the back of the form. If we are able to find entries for Rica Ver West, we will send the closest living relative a transcription of the information.

There is a nonrefundable base fee of $25.00 for a search of our mental health records. If you wish to proceed, please include a check or money order made payable to the Ohio Historical Society with the completed Mental Health Request Form. It generally takes between four to six weeks to process the research request once we have received the completed form with payment. The base research fee includes 4 pages of photocopies. If we copy more than 4 pages, each additional page will be 25 cents. If the request requires photocopies in excess of 4 pages, we will bill for the additional cost at the time we send our response. We make every effort to find records for a patient, but if no records are located the fee is not returned.

Please note that Ohio ’s developmental centers are only required to maintain residential records for 10 years after an individual has been discharged from care. If records were not archived with the Ohio Historical Society, they may have been destroyed. Even so, you may wish to contact the Columbus Developmental Center (the current name of the Columbus State Institute) to ask if they hold any records from the time frame you are researching.

Columbus Developmental Center

1601 W Broad Street

Columbus, OH 43222-1087


You may wish to contact the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to ask if they have any information about your relative.

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

Rhodes Tower

30 E Broad St, 13th Floor

Columbus, OH 43266-0415


Also, you may wish to ask the probate court of the county where Rica Ver West was living before she was admitted to the institution if they have a commitment hearing case file. If she was committed through the court system, there may be records about the trial proceedings. These records are sometimes called feeble minded case files or commitment hearings. Not all patients would have been committed through a court hearing. A family member could request permission to have a relative admitted without the court’s intersession into the process.


Travis Kokas

Reference Services Department

Ohio Historical Society

NOTE: We are not moving, but we have a New Address

800 E. 17th Ave.

Columbus, OH 43211

(614) 297-2510

Connect with the past, create a better future!
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missrobin1986 1353948677000 
maryhaller89 1373971111000 
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