Closing the Asylums

  • Discussion
Photograph of a woman wearing a blue shirt standing behind a trolley in an archive store. One the trolley are open books and archive boxes. On either side of her are a series of thin drawers. In the background on the wall is a painted mural depicting various figures.
Dr Louise Hide, Benjamin Gilbert. Source: Wellcome Collection. CC BY-NC.

What you’ll do

By the mid-1950s over 150,000 people were resident in psychiatric hospitals across England and Wales. Hear Dr Louise Hide explain why and how, by the end of the century, most of these vast Victorian institutions had closed.

There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions. 

Please be aware that this discussion contains content that some people might find distressing.

About your speaker

Photograph of Dr Louise Hide

Dr Louise Hide

Dr Louise Hide is a social and cultural historian of psychiatry and its institutions at Birkbeck, University of London. She holds a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship in Medical Humanities.



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Need to know


We’ll be in the Viewing Room. It’s next to the Library entrance on level 2, which you can reach by taking the lift or the stairs.

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