Additional Resources

Over its long history, the treatment of people living with mental illness has been a varied and nuanced topic. The below resources are a miniscule sampling of the information available and we recommend further exploration and engagement with the complexities of mental health history and the current practices that impact contemporary society.

Online Resources

Learn About Mental Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the mental health basics and types of mental illness.

Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities
The DBHDD website provides mental health resources available to the residents of the State of Georgia.

Origins of Mental Health
Dr. Wallace Mandell, of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health discusses the origins of mental health in the United States.

A History of Mental Illness
A Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) video exploring the history of mental health treatment in the United States and the stigma that is still sometimes connected to mental illness today.

America's Long-Suffering Mental Health System
Historian Zeb Larson traces how our response to the mentally ill has been shaped by a faith that such illness can be cured and a desire to deal with the mentally ill as cheaply as possible.

A Brief History of Electroconvulsive Therapy
An article providing a brief history of electroconvulsive therapy from The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Psychosurgery, Ethics, and Media: A History of Walter Freeman and the Lobotomy
A Journal of Neurosurgery article presenting a historical account of Walter Freeman’s life and career, and the popularization of the lobotomy in the US. Additionally, the authors pay special attention to the influence of popular literature and film on the public’s perception of psychosurgery. Aided by an understanding of this pivotal period in medical history, neurosurgeons are poised to confront the ethical and sociological questions facing psychosurgery as it continues to evolve.

National Library of Medicine Resources on the History of Psychiatry History
This report introduces scholars interested in the history of psychiatry to the extraordinary collection in the HMD and NLM. This collection is unparalleled for its coverage of time and place in great depth and breadth, for its possession of immense numbers of unique audiovisual and print materials and for its invaluable holdings of manuscripts and oral histories.

U.S. National Library of Medicine: Digital Collections
Digital Collections is the National Library of Medicine's free online resource of biomedical books and still and moving images. All of the content in Digital Collections is freely available worldwide and, unless otherwise indicated, in the public domain. Digital Collections provides unique access to NLM's rich resources.

Medical Heritage Library
A collaboration of some of the world’s leading medical libraries, MHL promotes free and open access to historical resources in medicine, including 60,000 digitized rare books, serials, and films.

Mental Health America of Georgia
Mental Health America of Georgia (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association of Georgia) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with mental health challenges as well as promoting mental wellness throughout Georgia. We represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of everyone in our state, emphasizing mental health as a critical component of a healthy lifestyle. 

Ruth Hartley Mosley Center
The Ruth Mosely Center, located in Macon, Georgia, is funded by the estate of Ruth Hartley Mosley, the first Black head nurse appointed to oversee a department at the Georgia State Sanitarium (CSH) in 1910. The center's mission is to aid needy students seeking to become nurses or other providers of health care.

Black Mental Health Alliance Resources
Since 1984, Black Mental Health Alliance has provided a trusted forum to lead and promote a holistic, culturally-relevant approach to the development and maintenance of whole health especially mental health programs and services for Black people and vulnerable communities. For over 30 years, BMHA has been providing grassroots advocacy and a platform to engage national thought leaders, local leaders and the community in proactive and solutions-focused dialogue to educate and change both the narrative and perceptions regarding whole health and mental illness.

Print Resources

Administration of Lunacy: Racism and the Haunting of American Psychiatry at the Milledgeville Asylum
Mab Segrest provides a look at the racist orgins of psychiatry, though the story of the largest mental institution in the world.

Segrest, M. (2020). Administrations of lunacy: racism and the haunting of American psychiatry at the Milledgeville Asylum. The New Press.

Posey with the Insane and Sane: Forgive and be Forgiven
An intriguing account of a young woman who overcame institutionalization and a devastating marriage to find a sound mind and true love. The tale of this woman presents a vivid picture of the history of the Central State Hospital.

Lane, L. W. (1994). Posey with the insane and sane: forgive and be forgiven. Old Capital Press.

But for the Grace of God: The Inside Story of the World’s Largest Insane Asylum, Milledgeville
Dr. Peter Cranford details keen aspects of life in the World's Largest Insane Asylum, and offers a glimpse into a disturbing world not often discussed in mainstream forums.

Cranford, P. G. (1981). But for the grace of God: the inside story of the world's largest insane asylum, Milledgeville! Great Pyramid Press.

Admission Register of Central State Hospital, Milledgeville, Georgia, 1842-1861
This book contains the admission records for the first 888 patients admitted to Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia. Each patient record contains the basic facts of the individual, symptoms, and possible causes of their illness.

Graham, P. K., & R.J. Taylor, Jr., Foundation. (2011). Admission register of Central State Hospital Milledgeville, Georgia, 1842-1861. Genealogy Company.

Asylum on the Hill: History of a Healing Landscape
Asylum on the Hill is the story of a great American experiment in psychiatry, the movement to provide compassionate care based on a curative landscape, exposure to arts, outdoor exercise, useful occupation, and personal attention from a physician.

Ziff, K. K., & ProQuest. (2012). Asylum on the Hill: History of a Healing Landscape. Ohio University Press.

Insanity, Institutions, and Society, 1800-1914: A Social History of Madness in Comparative Perspective
This comprehensive collection provides a fascinating summary of the debates on the growth of institutional care during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Revising and revisiting Foucaulty, it looks at the significance of ethnicity, race and gender, as well as the impact of political and cultural factors.

Melling, J. & Forsythe, B. (1999). Insanity, institutions, and society, 1800-1914: A social history of madness in comparative perspective. Routledge.

Race and Medicine in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century America
In Race and Medicine historian Todd Savitt presents revised and updated versions of his seminal essays on the medical history of African Americans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially in the South. This collection examines a variety of aspects of African American medical history, early medical health and illnesses, medical experimentation, early medical schools and medical professionals, and slave life insurance.

Savitt, T., & Savitt, T.J. (2006). Race and Medicine in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century America. The Kent State University Press.

The Color of Hope: People of Color Mental Health Narratives
The Color of Hope: People of Color Mental Health Narratives is a project that sheds light on mental health in communities of color by sharing stories by those affected by mental illness.

Hazzard, V., Picot, I., & Phillips, R. (2015). The color of hope: People of color mental health narratives. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Plaform.

Mad In America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill
Mad in America argues that modern treatments for the severely mentally ill are just old medicine in new bottles, and that we as a society are deeply deluded about their efficacy.

Whitaker, R. (2010). Mad in America: Bad science, bad medicine, and the enduring mistreatment of the mentally ill. Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

Media Resources

The Lobotomist
Through interviews with former patients and their families, students, and medical historians, this documentary provides an unprecedented look at one of the darkest chapters in psychiatric history.

Goodman, B., Grimberg, S., Maggio, J., Scott, C., Fedde, R. A., Bilous, E., … PBS Home Video, distributor. (2008). The lobotomist (Widescreen (16:9, enhanced)..). [Boston, Mass.]: WGBH Educational Foundation.

Exhibit Item List

A full list of items used in this exhibit can be viewed here.