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SC State Hospital Cemetery records

In 1822 the cornerstone was laid for the Mills Building on the SC State Hospital grounds. Now the property is being redeveloped but the SC Department of Mental Health keeps records for patients who first entered the facility in 1828. The patient records can be a valuable genealogical tool. They are not accessible online, however, a "how to"guide for accessing the records is available through the "Dead Librarian" links below.

  • Click here for the SC State Hospital Cemetery Survey index, a list of the nearly 9,000 patients (black and white) who were buried by the State Hospital.
  • The original patient records for the SCDMH are at the South Carolina State Archives.
  • We originally put the list on Ancestry but there are problems getting the file to download so we are now trying to make them accessible here on the Richland Library website.

    Let me reitterate that this is a cemetery survey of patients who have died at a State Hospital facility and Richland Library does not have patient records. Information about accessing State Hospital records is on the Dead Librarian posts listed below.


    Amazon Says: Moonlight, Magnolias, and Madness is a social history of the perceptions and treatment of the mentally ill in South Carolina over two centuries. Examining insanity in both an more...
    Amazon Says: Moonlight, Magnolias, and Madness is a social history of the perceptions and treatment of the mentally ill in South Carolina over two centuries. Examining insanity in both an institutional and a community context, Peter McCandless shows how policies and attitudes changed dramatically from the colonial era to the early twentieth century. He also sheds new light on the ways sectionalism and race affected the plight of the insane in a state whose fortunes worsened markedly after the Civil War. Antebellum asylum reformers in the state were inspired by many of the same ideals as their northern counterparts, such as therapeutic optimism and moral treatment. But McCandless shows that treatment ideologies in South Carolina, which had a majority black population, were complicated by the issue of race, and that blacks received markedly inferior care. By re-creating the different experiences of the insane--black and white, inside the asylum and within the community--McCandless highlights the importance of regional variation in the treatment of mental illness. less...
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