Oregon Historical County Records Guide

Lane 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 for 75 years by Oregon Revised Statute 192.496.

Records at the Oregon State Archives:
Mentals [Commitment Case Files], no. 1-7499, 1864-1957 (25 cu.ft.).

Records at the Lane County Courthouse, Court Archives:
Mental Commitment Case Files-in boxes], 1994-2009 (44 cu.ft.);
Mental Commitment Case Files-in cabinet], 2010-present (6.50 cu.ft.);
Index to Circuit Court Miscellaneous [includes insane commitments and some naturalization cases], vol. 2, ca.1864-1977 ( 1 volume);
[Mental Commitment Case Files], 1957-1993 (LaserFiche electronic storage).

Records at the Lane County Courthouse, Court Exhibit Room:
County Court Journal [includes insane cases], vol. 2-8, 1875-1953 (7 volumes);
Mental Index to Circuit Court, 1977-1979 (1 volume);
Mental Register [with index], vol. 7, 1977-1982 (1 volume); vol. 8, 1982-1983 (1 binder);
Name Change Adoption & Mental Daily Orders [includes mental commitment orders], 1957-1980 (21 reels of microfilm);
Register of Actions Circuit Court [includes insane commitments-with index], vol. 5-6, 1957-1977 (2 volumes);
Register of Actions County Court [includes insane commitments-becomes a circuit court register in 1953], vol. 1-4, 1896-1957 (4 volumes).


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