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Oregon Historical County Records Guide

Douglas County Records Inventory

Insane Commitment Records

1859-[ongoing]

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 for 75 years by Oregon Revised Statute 192.496.

Mental commitment case information included in the Oregon eCourt Case Information Network (OECI) electronic records system since 2014 is not maintained in paper or microfilm.

Records at the Douglas County Courthouse, Clerk's Archives Storage Room:
[County Court Journal of Civil & Citizenship-includes civil, naturalization, and insane commitment cases], vol. 2-3, 1859-1948 (1 reel of microfilm);
Probate [Sealed Files-includes insane commitment and adoption cases], ca.1869-ca.1955 (4 reels of microfilm);
Sealed Files [Circuit Court Mental Cases-Files], 1987-1993 (11 reels of microfilm);
Sealed Files [Journal of Mentally Ill-title varies], vol. 3-6, 1905-1955 (6 reels of microfilm);
Sealed Files [Mental Cases-Commitment-title varies], 1925-1979 (37 reels of microfilm);
Sealed Files [Mentally Ill Journal], 1955-1980 (7 reels of microfilm);
Sealed Files [Record of Insane Circuit Court-with index], vol. 1-2, 1898-1905 (1 reel 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 Courthouse, Clerk's Records Vault 115:
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);
Oregon State Hospital Reports [includes death and discharge reports], 1929-1946 (1 volume);
Probate Book [Journal-includes insane commitments-with index], vol. 1.5, 1859-1873 (1 volume);
Record of Insane [with index], vol. 1, 1898-1904 (1 volume).

Records at the Douglas County Courthouse, Clerk's Genealogy Room:
Civil & Citizenship Index for Vol. 2 [of the Journal Civil Citizenship-includes civil, naturalization, and insane commitment cases], 1859-1899 (1 volume).

Records at the Douglas County Justice Building, 2nd Floor Circuit Court Records Room:
MH [Mental Health Case Files], 1995-2008 (Electronic on Laserfiche system);
MH [Mental Health Case Files], 2009-2013 (9 cu.ft.);
MH [Mental Health Case Files], 2014-present (Electronic on eCourt system).

Records at the Douglas County Justice Building, 2nd Floor Circuit Court Confidential Records Room:
Active Files [Mental Commitment Alphabetical Index Cards], ca.1953-ca.1982 (.20 cu.ft.);
[Admission and Release Notices-Oregon State Hospital and other facilities], 1963-1980 (4 volumes);
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 Cases [Admission and Release Notices-Oregon State Hospital], no. 2100-4800, 1952-1963 (3 volumes);
MH Miscl. [Mental Health Miscellaneous Admission and Release Notices-Oregon State Hospital], 1972-1988 (1 cu.ft.);
Oregon State Hospital [Admission and Release Notices], no. 1086-2100, 1945-1952 (1 volume).

Records at the Douglas County Justice Building, 3rd Floor Circuit Court Records Room:
Mentals [Journal of Mentally Ill], vol. 10-14, 1955-1980 (5 reels of microfilm);
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 a Related Web Site:
Civil & Citizenship Index for Vol. 2 [of the Journal Civil Citizenship-includes civil, naturalization, and insane commitment cases-includes document images], 1859-1899 (familysearch.org);
Probate Estate Index [includes insane commitments-includes document images], 1859-1879 (familysearch.org);
Probate Journal [includes insane commitments-includes document images], vol. 1.5, 1859-1873 (familysearch.org).

 

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