Authors @ Alden: Katherine Ziff

WebcastConnectButtonOhio University Libraries will host a conversation with local author Katherine Ziff, as part of the Authors @ Alden series on Tuesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. Ziff will discuss her research and her book, Asylum on the Hill: History of a Healing Landscape. Much of Ziff’s extensive research on the Athens Lunatic Asylum was done through the asylum archives at the Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections at Alden Library.

Athens Lunatic Asylum
A southeast view of the Athens State Hospital’s Women’s Department. Photo from the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, Ohio University Libraries.

Katherine Ziff is a scholar of psychiatric history and asylums. Asylum on the Hill, published in 2012, is considered one of the most detailed accounts on the history as well as the revolutionary practices in psychiatry and patient care that took place at the Athens Lunatic Asylum.

”Stories of patients and their families, politicians, caregivers, and community illustrate how a village in the coalfields of the Hocking River Valley responded to a national impulse to provide compassionate care based on a curative landscape, exposure to the arts, outdoor exercise, useful occupation, and personal attention from a physician,” wrote by Samuel T. Gladding in the forward for Asylum on the Hill.

Ohio University Libraries Curator of Manuscripts Doug McCabe, will be an active participant in the conversation. McCabe is familiar with the asylum archives through his work at the Mahn Center. McCabe will also be presenting a display of rarely seen artifacts from the Athens Asylum.

All community members are encouraged to attend this event which will take place from 7-8 p.m. at the 1951 Lounge located across from the circulation desk on the 4th floor of Alden Library. A live webcast of the event will be available from Authors @ Alden page.