About the Oregon Historical Records Index
Insane Committment Records
The records document the examination, commitment, and release of mentally ill persons to and from the state's mental institutions. They contain statements of complaint and commitment recorded by the county clerk or recorder and may include petitions to have an individual committed; physicians certification that an individual is insane; delivery warrants authorizing a county official (usually the sheriff) to take the individual to the state hospital; patient discharges; paroles or transfers; indexes; and correspondence.
Information may include patient and family names, date committed, reason, physical description, and a brief family history. The records may also be known as the Insane Record, Mental Illness Record, and Mentally Ill and Feeble Minded Record. By 1968, in most counties, the commitment of the mentally ill or deficient had become the responsibility of the circuit court. Access to these records may be restricted for 75 years by Oregon Revised Statute 192.496.