Coverage - Mental Health Records

Between 1858 and 1915 there were 116,174 persons who were patients in Scottish lunatic asylums, some for a short visit, others for most of their life. These people were largely forgotten about, so our mission is to tell their story so their modern day family can understand them, even if their contemporaries couldn’t.

Scottish Asylums

This is an index of the MC2 and MC7 series of records, held at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh. The title of the series of records catalogued 'MC2' is "Notices of Admissions by the Superintendent of Mental Institutions". The volumes commence in 1858 and most volumes cover one month each. The index so far covers the months of January-June 1858; January-April, July-August and December 1859; and January 1860.

The title of the series of records catalogued 'MC7 is "General Register of Lunatics in Asylums". Although the volumes commence in 1858, the first volume begins with records of all patients who were in Scottish asylums on 1 January 1858, including records of patients admitted as far back as the year 1807. These volumes are much less detailed than the "Notices of Admissions", but do contain the date of admission and the date of transfer or death, making it possible to trace a patient through time. We have indexed the full name (including maiden or alternative surnames where these appear in the register), admission date, institution name and date of death (when the patient died in the institution). The index so far covers admission dates from 1807 through to 4 March 1893. More entries will be added shortly.

We are very grateful to Ian Berry, John Brodie, Trish Jones, Heather McMahon, Roberta Rossely and Marjorie Watson for their help in indexing these records.

The Mental Health Records record set now contains 93,484 entries.

Search the Mental Health Records index

Learn more about Scottish mental health records

Read about specific institutions around Scotland