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State Hospitals: Historical Patient Records: Faribault State School & Hospital

Historical patient, employee, and student records from Minnesota State Hospitals

Faribault State School & Hospital

In 1879, the Minnesota Institute for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind opened an experimental department for feeble-minded children. In July of that year, fifteen children were transferred from the Rochester and St. Peter state hospitals. In 1887, the name was changed to the Minnesota Institute for Defectives. The name School for the Feeble-Minded was adopted in 1895, and changed to the School for Feeble-Minded and Colony for Epileptics in 1906. It became the Faribault State School and Hospital in 1955.

When the school opened it performed the functions of a school, a home, and a hospital. The three departments were the School and Training Department, Custodial or Home Department, and Epileptic Hospital. In its later years, its functions included reducing the dependencies of mentally disabled individuals; providing care, treatment, and training for the purpose of returning persons to as normal a life as possible; assisting families in coping with mental disability; fostering public understanding and involvement; promoting development and use of community services; and conducting research into causes, prevention, and treatment of mental disability. The patient population consisted of persons of all ages representing all types and degrees of mental disability, many of whom are also physically infirm. The institution closed on July 1, 1998.

Some patient records for the Faribault State School & Hospital can be viewed in person at the library. Our full State Hospital Records Request is currently unavailable but we are offering a State Hospital Index Search Request in order to assist researchers in the first stage of their record search.  

​Note: The records in the following boxes are for the Faribault State School and Hospital ONLY.  For the School for the Blind and the School for the Deaf records see below.

  • Faribault School for the Blind: Established 1874 is now known as the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind.  Search the library catalog for "Faribault School for the Blind."
  • Faribault School for the Deaf: Established 1863, is now known as the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf. Search the library catalog for "Faribault School for the Deaf."

Patient Records

To order a state hospital patient index search for an individual visit our State Hospital Records Request.    

Miscellaneous Patient Records, 1879-1997
Three sets of patient index cards (for patients admitted from 1904-1910, circa 1879-1954, and circa 1944-1997).
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Admission Records, 1879-1998
This series contains an index to applications and admissions (1879-1938), registers of applications and admissions (1879-1901, 1968-1994), a statistical record (1879-1938), applications for admission and etiological histories (1883-1916), auxiliary application records (1893-1920), record of admissions and examinations (1909-1915), and admission and discharge statistics (1882-1998). The records generally giving the following information: name, application number, admission number, family and clinical/etiological histories, and remarks. The registers of applications and admissions also often contain individual inmate’s photographs.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Death and Burial Records, 1913-1923 and 1951-1996
Records relating to the death and burial of inmates who died while at the institution. The type of information found in these records includes name and admission number, vital data, date and cause of death, disposition of remains, attending physician, duration of illness, family history data, undertaker, and autopsy date, results, and physician.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Note: These records include private information about individuals. Records with private information are closed for 75 years from date of last entry in the record and occasionally 100 years due to sensitive and/or third-party data. Researchers must apply for permission to use these records.  Click here for more information on accessing restricted records. 

Employee Records

Minnesota Division of Public Institutions Personnel Service Records- Faribault, 1934-1939
Cards listing employee name, address, position, salary, brief statement of duties, data on previous state service, education, training, and personal and family information.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (Social Security Department: Public Institutions Division).

Payroll Records, 1885-1932
Records in several different formats generally giving the following information: names, job titles, vacation and sick days, days required and number of days actually worked, amount paid, date of first employment, rate of pay, board allowance, schedule numbers, deductions, net earnings, and remarks.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Employment Applications, 1896-1907
Record of applications for employment for attendants or nurses listing date of application, applicant number, name and address, character of work desired, and comments and references.
MNHS call number: 110.C.1.1B

Note: These records include private information about individuals. Records with private information are closed for 75 years from date of last entry in the record. Researchers must apply for permission to use these records.  Click here for more information on accessing restricted records. 

Other Records

Individual School Records, 1885-1903
Teachers’ records of activities in each class, including detailed progress reports on each individual pupil. NOT organized by pupil name. 
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Publications, 1950-1997
Runs of five publications produced at the institution. The Coverall (1950-1971) was a monthly newsletter published by the institution’s recreation department; The Round Table (1972-1997) was a newsletter containing information about activities at the institution; No Name News (1968-1970) was a staff newsletter; The Voice of the Men/The Voice of the Women and the Men (1969-1973) was a mimeographed magazine produced by the adult education class; and WOW (1986-1993) was a fitness newsletter for employees.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

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