Article ID: CBB754801671

The paper technology of confinement: evolving criteria in admission forms (1850–73) (2021)


This paper investigates the role of admission forms in the regulation of asylum confinement in the second half of the nineteenth century. Taking the Toronto Lunatic Asylum as a case study it traces the evolution of the forms’ content and structure during the first decades of this institution. Admission forms provide important material for understanding the medico-legal assessment of lunacy in a certain jurisdiction. First, they show how the description of insanity depended on a plurality of actors. Second, doctors were not necessarily required to indicate symptoms of derangement. Third, patients’ relatives played a fundamental role in providing clinical information. From an historiographical perspective, this paper invites scholars to consider the function of standardized documents in shaping the written identity of patients.

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Authors & Contributors
Reaume, Geoffrey
Court, John P. M.
Walden, Keith
Little, Joyce Currie
Włodzimierz Gogołek
Jennifer Bonnell
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadien d'Histoire de la Medecine
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
Canadian Historical Review
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Science, Technology and Human Values
Railroad History
University of Toronto Press
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
McGill-Queen's University Press
University of Chicago Press
Data collection; methods
Information technology
Big data
Technology and society
Medicine and society
Psychiatric hospitals
Wright, Robert Ramsay
Kirschmann, August
Bertillon, Alphonse
Toronto (Ontario)
Utrecht (Netherlands)
Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Prussia (Germany)
19th century
21st century
20th century, early
20th century
18th century
17th century
University of Toronto

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