Just a few days ago, as I turned on my home computer, accessed the internet and glanced at my Yahoo home page, I noticed that one of the news stories flashing across the Yahoo site dealt with the Bloomingdale Asylum. The Asylum, named after the area of upper Manhattan formerly known as Bloomingdale, once operated where Columbia University now stands. Established by New York Hospital in the early 19th century to care for the mentally ill, the records of the asylum now live here in the Medical Center Archives.
It's not everyday the Bloomingdale Asylum makes it into the news, let alone on my Yahoo home page. I clicked on the link to the full article and discovered that an historian and employee of Columbia University offered a free lecture on the asylum, its location, and the history of the neighborhood using vintage postcards he has collected that depict the area and its gradual transformation.
Check out the blog post advertised on Yahoo: http://www.dnainfo.com/20110616/upper-west-side/vintage-postcards-reveal-columbia-universitys-unusual-past.
If you find that interesting, check out the rest of the Bloomingdale Asylum records housed here at the Medical Center Archives! Just call or send us an email setting up an appointment, and we'd be glad to introduce you to our collections.