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Developmental Disabilities Records at the Archives & Library of the Ohio History Connection

State Institutes

We hold the following restricted residential records for the Columbus State Institute (aka Ohio Institution for Feeble-Minded Youth).

  1. Admission questionnaire book, 1881-1882, 1902. [State Archives Series 957]

  2. County admission application book, 1910-1950. [State Archives Series 1397]

  3. Admission application book, 1881-1905, 1912-1923. [State Archives Series 1465]

  4. County admission book, 1868-1968. [State Archives Series 1466]

  5. Admission application book index, 1881-1898. [State Archives Series 2126]

  6. Admission books, 1863-1969. [State Archives Series 2433]

  7. Record of burials in Columbus State Institute cemetery, 1906-1970. [State Archives Series 4606]

We hold the following restricted residential records for the Gallipolis State Institute (aka Ohio Hospital for Epileptics):

  1. Autopsy reports, 1901-1907. [State Archives Series 213]

  2. Record of deaths, 1906-1969. [State Archives Series 1712]                             

  3. "Copy from death certificate" forms, 1911-1924. [State Archives Series 1713]

  4. Admission book, 1893-1904. [State Archives Series 1714]

  5. Casebooks of male and female patients, 1893-1936. [State Archives Series 1715]

  6. Address book, 1895-1958. [State Archives Series 1716]

  7. County admission book, 1893-1900. [State Archives Series 1718]

  8. Male and female discharge books, 1893-1903. [State Archives Series 1719]

  9. Notes on patients' relatives, ca. 1930. [State Archives Series 1725]

  10. Index for casebook for male patients, 1893-1914. [State Archives Series 7270]

We hold the following restricted residential records for the Orient State Institute (aka Orient Institution for the Feeble-Minded):

  1. Superintendent's letterbook and physician's certification of deaths, 1920-1930. [State Archives Series 2197]

  2. Patient clothing record, 1921-1966. [State Archives Series 2198]

  3. Death records, 1907-1984. [State Archives Series 6281] 

Other Resources

Other Resources

You may wish to contact the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to ask if they have any information about the individual.  Ask them about the availability of Master Patient Index Cards.

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
30 East Broad Street
12th Floor 
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: 800.617.6733

Also, you may wish to ask the probate court of the county where the person was living before he/she was admitted to the institution if they have a commitment hearing case file. If the person 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 residents 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. 

The United States Federal Census is a good resource for placing people in time. Residents of Ohio's state institutions were enumerated together in the census. Access to the United States Federal Census 1790-1950 is available for IN LIBRARY USE ONLY through Ancestry Library edition. 

Ohio's Death Certificates record information about where a person was resident at their time of death and how long they were there. The Ohio History Connection Archives & Library holds death certificates for the state of Ohio from December 20, 1908 through 1970.