Our project to "rehumanize" the specimens in our collection was featured in Smithsonian Magazine online. Check it out here!

With this exhibit, our goal is to give the individuals represented in our specimen collection, patients from Central State Hospital who passed away in the hospital and were autopsied in the Pathological Department that now houses the Indiana Medical History Museum, a voice and to stress their humanity.

We hope these stories can help combat stigma and foster compassion and respect, not only for the people represented here, but for all people- past, present, and future- affected by mental illness, directly or indirectly, by normalizing the conversation about mental health.


These are the questions we're asking. We don't have all the answers and never will, but our research is ongoing. We will continue to update these stories, as we learn more and gain new insights.


-Who were they, and what was their life like before they were institutionalized?

-How and why did they end up at Central State Hospital?

-What was their disease or injury like from their perspective? How did their physical, psychiatric, or neurological symptoms impact their daily lives and their loved ones?

-How might their diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment be different today?


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