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Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services records

Identifier: RG021

Scope and Content

Contains records relating to Connecticut State Hospital for the Insane/Connecticut Valley Hospital; Division of Alcohol and Drug Dependence Division; Commission on Alcoholism; Associate Commissioner. Child and Adolescent; Joint Board of Mental Health; Council of Mental Health; Fairfield Hills Hospital; Norwich State Hospital; Commissioner's files. Connecticut State Hospital for the Insane/Connecticut Valley Hospital contain superintendents files, 1867-1960; trustees minutes, 1866-1961; fiscal files, 1889-1943; Personnel records, 1874-1941; patient files, 1916-1965; medical staff records, 1901-1951; school of nursing records, 1904-1939; miscellaneous material, 1889-1976; and manual for practical nursing procedures, 1928.


  • 1866-1996

Language of Materials

The records are in English.

Restrictions on Access

New Exemption: Public Act 11-242, section 37 amends subsection (b) (10) of Conn. Gen. Stat. sec. 1-210 and adds to the exemptions of the Freedom of Information Act any records created as a result of a doctor-patient or a therapist-patient relationship. This closure applies to all records listed below as Restricted.

Patients: Files continue to be made available to patients themselves upon reliable proof of identification which may be a current copy of a Connecticut driver's license with a photograph or current credit card with the patient's name on it.

Families: Section 52-146c of the Connecticut General Statutes allows "next of kin" the right to view records of a deceased patient who was also a relative.

Relatives of deceased patients should contact Assistant State Archivist Allen Ramsey by email at or send a letter with the following information:

- Full name of the patient.

- Approximate years patient was treated at the hospital.

- Name, e-mail, and telephone of the requestor.

The State Archives will search for the folder and will report the results of the search to the requestor. If a file is found and the requestor wants to view or receive copies of the file, the following information must first be presented to the State Archivist:

- Proof of identity through a copy of a current Connecticut driver's license with a photograph or a copy of a current credit card with the requestor's name on it.

- Proof that the patient is deceased through a copy of a death certificate or obituary.

- Proof that the requestor is a "next of kin" to the deceased patient through a copy of a birth certificate, obituary with the name of the requestor mentioned as a survivor, or a signed and dated notarized statement of relationship to the patient.

Other Parties: According to the new exemption, medical records are closed to other parties.

Record Series Listed Below: Records listed below labeled as non-restricted or unrestricted are open to all researchers who have read the rules of use and signed the registration forms. Since these records are stored off site, they may not be available on the same day.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Historical Note

The Department of Mental Health was established on October 1, 1953. It succeeded the Joint Committee of State Mental Hospitals comprising representatives from the Boards of Trustees of the State Mental Hospitals: the first at Middletown in 1867, called Connecticut Hospital for the Insane, now known as Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH); the next, in 1904, Norwich State Hospital; the third, beginning in 1933, Fairfield Hills State Hospital, and finally in 1953, Connecticut Child Study and Treatment Home. Norwich State Hospital and Fairfield Hills were closed down. The Department of Mental Health combined the State Mental Hospitals into one department. In 1975, children's psychiatric services was transferred from the Department of Mental Health to the Department of Children and Youth Services, which was later called the Department of Children and Families (DCF). On July 1, 1995, the Department of Mental Health was absorbed into the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services from the former Department of Public Health and Addiction Services. This is the “single state agency for providing comprehensive mental health and substance abuse services throughout Connecticut.”

See also the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Agency History.


998.5 cubic feet (includes subgroups)


The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) promotes and administers comprehensive, recovery-oriented services in the areas of mental health treatment and substance abuse prevention and treatment throughout Connecticut.


Subgroup 1. Connecticut Valley Hospital/Connecticut State Hospital for the Insane, 1866-1991

Series 2. Alcohol and Drug Dependence Division, 1956-1979, 22 cubic feet

Accession: 1983-022, Subject and grant files, circa 1956-1979, 3 cubic feet

Accession: 1983-022, State Advisory Board minutes, 1962-1975, 1 folder

Accession: 2005-020, Community in-service centers, 1959-1979, 19 cubic feet

Series 3. Commission on Alcoholism, 1945-1959, Accession: 1983-022, 0.50 cubic feet

Series 4. Associate Commissioner. Child and Adolescent, 1964-1976, Accession: 1987-031, 3 cubic feet

Series 5. Joint Board of Mental Health, 1948-1951, Accession: T000947, 2 folders

Series 6. Council of Mental Health, 1952-1957, Accession: T000947, 0.75 cubic feet (8 folders)

Subgroup 7. Fairfield Hills Hospital, 1933-1995

Subgroup 8. Norwich State Hospital, 1904-1996

Series 9. Commissioner's files, 1958-1994, Accession: 2003-035, 17 cubic feet

Related Material


RG 021, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Inventory of Records
Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository