- 1903-08-18 - (Creation)
- 1903-08-18 - 1918-09-07 (Accumulation)
Level of description
Name of creator
In 1901, a Parliamentary Select Committee was appointed to inquire into the mental health system in Western Australia. The Committee found that Fremantle Asylum was inadequate in many respects and recommended it be closed. As a result, a new mental health facility in Claremont - Claremont Hospital for the Insane - was established. In 1903, Government Reserve H8636 (394 acres) was set aside for this purpose.
By August 1903, temporary buildings had been established on the site and some initial patients transferred. Female patients remained at the Fremantle Asylum until 1908, after which they were transferred to Claremont.
The Claremont facility was Western Australia’s principal mental hospital until its closure in 1972.
It housed the majority of the State’s mental patients, both male and female adults (in separate wings) and children. Admission was by certification under the Lunacy Act 1903 or the Inebriates Act 1912, although ‘voluntary boarders’ were also admitted for limited periods of time. In the absence of community facilities, most patients were long-term.
Patients were admitted for a wide range of physical as well as mental disorders, including developmental disability, old age, alcoholism and serious infectious diseases that caused delirium. War veterans with psychiatric injuries were also housed in Claremont until separate facilities were built, including Stromness (1918-1926) and Lemnos Hospitals (1926-1995).
The hospital operated a small farm within its premises and registers of herds and farm produce are included in the records held by the State Records Office.
In 1933 the Hospital’s name was changed to Claremont Mental Hospital, and then in 1967 to Claremont Hospital. In 1972, the Hospital was closed and divided into two separate campuses: Swanbourne Hospital for psychogeriatric patients and adults with developmental disabilities, and Graylands Hospital for acute psychiatric patients.
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Scope and content
Case books typically record the following information about individual patients: name of patient; date of admission; residential address; religion; nationality; age; marital status; occupation; [name of] friend; [name of] relatives insane; age of first attack; cause; epileptic?; suicidal?; dangerous?; result.
For each patient, notes on admission are provided as well as detailed descriptions of the patient's physical and medical condition. Medical notes are updated on a regular (e.g. quarterly) basis.
The case books typically include an index to patient names at the front or rear of each volume.
The date range for each Record Item listed reflects the range of admission dates for patients.