New exhibit explores the history of Central State Hospital | News
It was once the largest mental hospital in the world. Founded in 1842, Milledgeville Central State Hospital has evolved dramatically over the years, reflecting advances in medical technology and patient care.
A new, online exhibition highlights these developments, showing the impact that caregivers have had in the field of nursing.
“No matter how you Seeing the history of mental health treatment in the United States, the institution located here in Milledgeville serves as a paradigm for the treatment of people living with mental illness in the country, ”said Evan Leavitt, Director of Operations and Facilities Planning at Georgia College Ina Dillard Russell Library.
The university partnered with the Georgia Public Library System to create the digital exhibit. The project stems from the Community Memory Project, which started in 2019 in collaboration with Twin Lakes Library in Milledgeville. The group included Leavitt, Georgia College Digital Archivist Holly Croft, Community Engagement Archivist Jessamyn Swan, and former Twin Lakes Library Director Stephen Houser.
They received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to document and preserve the oral history of Central State Hospital. The project is designed to increase the use of digitized cultural material, inspire research and tell the story of CSH in an inclusive way, highlighting people and communities who may have been overlooked in the past.
The exhibit features the work of African American nurses, such as Ruth Hartley Mosley and Ludie Clay Andrews. Hartley Mosley was the first African-American head nurse on a care ward at Central State Hospital and has become a civil rights activist and philanthropist. Clay Andrews, a native of Milledgeville and Georgia’s first black registered nurse, organized the municipal training school for nurses of color.
The exhibit is available online along with two other exhibits that highlight Georgia’s history: “Albany, Georgia’s Courthouses” from the Dougherty County Public Library and “Ballard Normal School, Macon GA: African American Student Life in the 1930s ”from the Washington Memorial Library.
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a digital exhibit must be worth ten thousand words,” said exhibit curator Muriel Jackson of the Middle Georgia Regional Library System. “These exhibits will represent our communities for years to come. “
The Central State Hospital exhibit can be viewed online by following the link: https://georgialibraries.omeka.net/s/central-state-hospital/page/introduction.