Library Special Collections at GCSU documents stories about Central State Hospital

Library Special Collections at GCSU documents stories about Central State Hospital

Got a story to tell about Central State Hospital (CSH)? Consider sharing your story for an oral history project in Georgia College & State University’s Special Collections section at Ina Dillard Russell Library.

In its 180-year existence, the hospital has held a unique place in the nation’s contested past treatment of people living with mental illness. It left an indelible mark on our local community’s history and identity.

Lost within the sensationalized history of the hospital is the tireless labor of the community to do good, despite challenges.  

Over the years, thousands of community residents dedicated themselves to the success of Central State Hospital and care of the sick. They created a legacy of service that Milledgeville continues to take pride in.

The project will record their stories—documenting the lives of people who worked every day at the “State” and contributed to its complex history. These stories will also be part of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded project, which will include a symposium and exhibit. The project is called “Unsilenced Voices: An Oral History Project of Central State Hospital.”

“Georgia College Special Collections understands that the story of a place is made up of the many stories of the people who made it what it was,” said Library Director Shaundra Walker. “One of the often-overlooked aspects of the historical record is the viewpoint of workers. We  want to document the stories of those who went to work every day at the ‘State’ and contributed to this complex history.”

Georgia College’s Special Collections is looking for individuals to record oral histories about their time working at CSH. Add your voice to the hospital’s history. 

For inclusion in the IMLS project, please contact Holly Croft in Special Collections at or 478-445-0988 by Dec. 15, 2023 to discuss recording an oral history of your time at CSH. Virtual and telephone interviews are available. Oral histories on this topic for Special Collections at Georgia College will continue indefinitely.

Updated: 2023-11-16
Cindy O'Donnell
(478) 445-8668
Ina Dillard Russell Library