About

For Posterity

NorthamptonStateHospital.org is privately owned and operated at no expense to, or affiliation with the City of Northampton or the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. In May 2007 this site received the endorsement of the Northampton State Hospital Memorialization Commission’s recommendation plans to the Northampton Citizen’s Advisory Committee.

Mission

To analyze the history of Northampton State Hospital as a symptom of public intolerance of the mentally ill.

Writer

A lifelong Northampton resident Chris took an interest in the state hospital shortly after it was abandoned.

Contact

Northampton State Hospital.org
PO Box 749
Northampton, MA
01060

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I visit the Northampton State Hospital Campus?
Most of Hospital Hill is open to the public save for the L3 KEO building on the south side of Rt 66. If this is your first time visiting click on this map and park at any available space that is not in front of the DMH Haskell building.

Ancestral Patient Records

Obtaining Patient Records can be a quite a journey. DMH needs a court order to process any request.

  1. Assuming your relative died in Massachusetts you can order a certified copy ($20 – $58.50) of the Death Certificate from the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics.
  2. At the Probate Court in the county where your ancestor died fill out a Voluntary Administration form ($115) and surrender the Death Certificate.
  3. The Probate Court will send the Court Order to the Department of Mental Health records office in Northampton.
  4. DMH will send a request to the Massachusetts Archives.
  5. Assuming the records exist, Massachusetts Archives will send the records to DMH.
  6. DMH will deliver the records to you.

Partners in History

Link to Danvers State HospitalDanvers State Hospital
Also known as Danvers State Insane Asylum, even before becoming operational in 1878 DSH was built to be twice the size of Northampton, a feature that earned Danvers the ridicule of the NSH superintendent. Danvers was abandoned and turned into condominiums like Northampton. The developer chose to keep the original facade which remains the only selling point for an otherwise aptly poor investment.

Link to Forbes LibraryForbes Library
A gift to the city by one of the original trustees of Northampton State Hospital, Forbes Library possesses not only the archive for the local periodicals but also a focused local history and reference section. Dr. Earle’s portrait hangs above the entrance, and the Superintendent’s library was gifted to Forbes at his passing.

Link to Historic NorthamptonHistoric Northampton
A source for all things Northampton, Historic Northampton archives and exhibits important historical material and serves as a hub for local research. Most of the ~700 historical images for this project were sourced from Historic Northampton’s archive.

Link to Kirkbride BuildingsKirkbride Buildings
Pictures and historical information concerning the Kirkbride plan for the construction of asylums. The site also features every other Kirkbride asylum as well as a news section for current events for each. More than materials the site’s researched is continuously generous in assisting this and other asylum related projects.

Link to NCTVNCTV Northampton Community Television
Provides the space, equipment and training to help make the video recorded Narratives possible.