Section of a large scale drawing of Stanley Royd Hospital created by a patient

Contributor: West Yorkshire Archives
Recorded: 14/10/2018

Throughout its history from 1818-1995, the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Wakefield (hereafter Stanley Royd) was one of the world's most famous and active research institutions, aiming for the systematic study of the brain, and drawing visits by doctors and asylum administrators from all over the country and world. The research work and the resulting scientific developments were ground-breaking and instigated global scientific changes in the treatment of the mentally ill. WYAS Wakefield holds the C85 Stanley Royd Collection which covers every aspect of life in the institution, from committee minutes to building plans. At its heart, however, are the patients' records themselves recording, in intimate and extensive detail, the admission, family and social background, illnesses, treatment, and ultimate fate of the thousands of men, women and children who passed through the doors of Stanley Royd. The collection includes over 5000 photograph of patients from the late 1860s onwards, putting a human face on a patient number.

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