Athens Mental Health Center Policies – OHIO University Libraries

Athens Mental Health Center Patient Record Access Policies

The Athens Mental Health Center records collection includes Inquest of Lunacy records for both male and female patients who entered the Athens Lunatic Asylum (later Athens Mental Health Center) between 1874 and 1911. We do not have all of the records from this time period. In some cases the Mahn Center has access to only the patient number and county from which the patient was admitted.

Personally identifiable health information, including full names of patients, remains confidential under both state and federal law for fifty years following the patient’s death. Due to these legal restrictions, the procedure for accessing these records differs based on their creation date.

  • Records created more than 132 years ago are open for research. If you would like to request records for a patient that was admitted over 132 years ago, please complete complete Scan Request and Use Agreement forms and send to You may also visit the Mahn Center in person and view these materials.


  • Record packets created less than 132 years ago can only be viewed by the patient’s closest living relative, or if the requester can provide documentation that the patient has been deceased for over 50 years.
    • If you would like to request records using documentation of the patient’s death date, please send proof of death date along with completed Scan Request and Use Agreement forms to The Mahn Center accepts the following as proof of death date: a copy of the patient’s death certificate or death record or a listing of the patient in the grave directory for individuals buried on the ridges. If you have alternate information, please include that as well.

For all patient records requests, standard scanning limits and charges apply.  

The location of patient records outside of the 1872-1911 time period is unknown. Other repositories with holdings relating to the Athens Mental Health Center are the Ohio History Connection and the Southeast Ohio History Center.