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The Descendant Community

We try to do as many public presentations as possible about the project. Here are some that are on the schedule:

 

September 25 noon (online) Mississippi Library Commission Table Topics

Table Topics: Mississippi Library Commission

 

February 25 - 27th (Exact time TBA)

Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration

 

One of the most important aspects of our work on the Asylum Hill Research Project is to nurture relationships with the descendants of those buried here. Historical records indicate that asylum patients were black and white, immigrants, male and female, young and old. They represent all 82 counties in Mississippi and came from all walks of life: housewives, farmers, merchants, lawyers, and former enslaved persons, just to name a few.

Mississippi State Insane Hospital circa 1915. Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History

The AHRC is committed to conducting historical and archaeological research intended to paint a better picture of what life was like in late 19th and 20th century mental institutions. While identifying individual remains is not presently scientifically viable, the AHRC will work to gather historical data on individual patients whenever possible.

In July of 2019, the Asylum Hill project conducted two "Old Asylum History Days" where oral histories were recorded and historic documents were scanned. The Old Asylum History Days were made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

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If you are a descendant of a former patient or employee at the Asylum, please visit our Descendant Community Outreach page which will enable you to share information about your relative if you wish or email Lida Gibson.

 

Photo of the Asylum (above) courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Circa 1915.