We are delighted to release the much anticipated Dr. Hills’ Casebook: The Anthology, a collection of patient case studies, stories and creative responses by members of the Change Minds: Dr Hills’ Casebook community.
Dr Hills’ Casebook was a heritage and creativity project that ran from 2019-2021. It was designed by the Restoration Trust and the Norfolk Record Office, in partnership with South Norfolk and Broadland Councils and UpShoot Theatre Company. The project was intended to support the wellbeing of people living with mental health challenges, and to stimulate public conversation by comparing past and present treatments. It was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation (NORAH).
Members of Change Minds projects work with historical records, in particular the patient casebooks from the Norfolk County Asylum held at the Norfolk Record Office. Dr Hills’ Casebook focused on the period when Dr William Charles Hills was the Asylum’s Medical Superintendent (1861-87). His journals reveal the work of a humane and dedicated man who treated his patients with care and respect – quite different to the usual perception of Victorian asylums as prisons for the insane.
The members of Dr Hills’ Casebook researched the lives of the patients documented in the casebooks, and worked in partnership with writer Belona Greenwood and the UpShoot Theatre Company to create a stage play, Dr Hills’ Casebook, inspired by their findings. Together we learned new skills, uncovered extraordinary stories, made lasting friendships, and overcame the challenges and disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ultimately, we produced what we believe is an innovative, moving and important piece of theatre. The performance is now publicly available as an online film.
This is an anthology of the materials uncovered, recovered and created along our journey.
‘Dr Hills’ Casebook: The Anthology’ Foreword by Robert Fairclough, Ellen Hardy