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Collection Scope and Content Note


Audio recordings and transcriptions of interviews David Birnbach conducted with former staff of New York State mental hospitals including Willard, Gowanda, St. Lawrence, Rochester, Sunmount, Pilgrim, and Rockland in 1983 and 1984. The interviews from Gowanda were the most comprehensive. Also particularly important are interviews from St. Lawrence, the first state hospital in the nation to open all its locked wards, and Rochester with its focus on leadership and integration in an urban setting. Also included are research materials on the subject and a draft of Birnbach's research results finished in 2002 and titled "Before, during, and shortly after the custody, care and treatment revolution: An oral history of the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene, 1928-1983."

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