Oregon Historical County Records Guide
Douglas County Records Inventory
Insane Commitment Records
Series documents the examination, commitment, and release of mentally ill persons to and from the state's mental institutions. Series contains statements of complaint and commitment recorded by the county clerk or recorder and includes 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 includes patient and family names, date committed, reason, physical description, and a brief family history. This series 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 by Oregon Revised Statute 192.496.
Douglas County joined the Oregon Judicial Information Network (OJIN) in 1987.
Records at the Douglas County Courthouse, Clerk's Archives:
[Circuit Court Mental Cases-Files], 1987-1993 (11 reels of microfilm);
Civil & Citizenship Index for Vol. 2, [of the Journal Civil Citizenship-includes civil, naturalization, and insane commitment cases], 1859-1899 (1 volume);
[County Court Journal of Civil & Citizenship-includes civil, naturalization, and insane commitment cases], vol. 2-3, 1859-1948 (1 reel of microfilm);
Index to Estates [includes insane commitments], 1859-1879 (1 volume);
Insane Record [with index], vol. 2, 1903-1905 (1 volume);
Journal Civil Citizenship [includes civil, naturalization, and insane commitment cases-with index], vol. 2-3, 1859-1948 (2 volumes);
[Journal of Mentally Ill-title varies], vol. 3-6, 1905-1955 (6 reels of microfilm);
[Mental Cases-Commitment-title varies], 1925-1979 (37 reels of microfilm);
[Mentally Ill Journal], 1955-1980 (7 reels of microfilm);
Probate Book [Journal-includes insane commitments-with index], vol. 1.5, 1859-1873 (1 volume);
[Record of Insane Circuit Court-with index], vol. 1-2, 1898-1905 (1 reel of microfilm);
Record of Insane [with index], vol. 1, 1898-1904 (1 volume);
Sealed Files-Probate-includes insane commitment and adoption cases], ca.1869-ca.1955 (4 reels of microfilm);
Sealed Records [Case Files-includes insane commitment and adoption cases], ca.1869-ca.1955 (7.50 cu.ft.).
Records at the Douglas County Justice Building, 2nd Floor Trial Court Office:
[Mental Commitment Records], no. 06MH001-10MH237, 2006-present (13 cu.ft.).
Records at the Douglas County Justice Building, 3rd Floor Trial Court Records Room:
Mentals [Mental Cases-Commitment Files], no. 1-2806, 74.1-93MH0370, 1925-1993 (70 reels of microfilm);
Mentals [Mentally Ill-Journal], vol. 7-9, 1955-1966 (3 reels of microfilm);
Mentals [Record of Insane], vol. 1-2, 1898-1905 (1 reel of microfilm).
Records at the Douglas County Justice Building, 4th Floor Trial Court Archives:
Active Files [Mental Commitment Alphabetical Index Cards], ca.1953-ca.1982 (.20 cu.ft.);
Index Mentally Diseased, 1968-1986 (1 volume);
Insane Records [Mental Commitment Register Cards-alphabetical], ca.1954-ca.1982 (.75 cu.ft.);
Insane Record [with index], vol. 3-4, 1905-1948 (2 volumes);
Journal of the Mentally Sick [with index], vol. 5-6, 1948-1955 (2 volumes);
[Mental Commitment Case Records], no. 94MH001-05MH340, 1994-2005 (26 cu.ft.);
[Notice of Release-Oregon State Hospital], 1952-1980 (8 volumes); 1981-1983 (1 binder).