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Archives and Special Collections: Stirling District Asylum

Collection information

Collection: Stirling District Asylum

Collection Ref.: GB 0559 SD

Administrative History:

Stirling District Lunatic Asylum was established in 1865 by the Stirling District Lunacy Board. The first patients were admitted in June 1869, many being transferred from asylums in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. Located in Larbert the institution was renamed Bellsdyke Hospital in 1960. The historical records of the asylum were transferred to the University of Stirling Archives in April 2012.

Further information is available on the Stirling District Lunatic Asylum Wikipedia page


Patient records including admission registers (1869-1941); registers of deaths (1869-1977); case books (1869-1918). Administrative records including annual reports, committee minutes, official circulars and memoranda. The Passing Hour, the magazine of Stirling District Asylum (1901-1917).


95 volumes

Catalogue information

The collection has been fully catalogued. A full descriptive list is available on our online catalogue

Additional catalogue information is available on the Archives Hub page for Stirling District Asylum.

The Passing Hour is fully digitised and available through JSTOR.

The collection is arranged into the following sections:

SD/1 Patient records

SD/2 Administrative records

SD/3 The Passing Hour

SD/4 Medical Journals

Additional collection information


No further accruals are expected

Related collections:

The University of Stirling Archives holds the historical records of NHS Forth Valley which also include the archives of the Royal Scottish National Hospital, Larbert.

Falkirk Archives hold the following material relating to Bellsdyke Hospital: building plans (1881-1947); copies of patient magazines (1901-1903)

Material from the Stirling District Asylum features on the ALCMAEON Project which aims to innovate the teaching of medical history and to work in a better integration of historical, ethical and psychosocial components of medical humanities.


To protect patient confidentiality there is a 75 year closure period in operation for adult clinical records. Please contact the University Archivist for further details.


Digitised content

The Passing Hour, the magazine of Stirling District Asylum.

Available on our JSTOR Open Community Collections pages.


Staring at the ceiling, looking at the stars

The human geography of Stirling District Asylum Archive

New artwork co-created by patients at Bellsdyke Hospital and artist Sharon Quigley, inspired by the stories of patients in the Stirling District Asylum Archive.

Read more about the project here.

Research placement project

In 2016 Layla Essat, a Masters student in Gender Studies at the University of Stirling carried out a research placement in the University Archives. She produced a series of articles on her work on the Stirling District Asylum which are reproduced here:


Using the collection

Archives Reading Room

Opening Hours:

10 am - 1 pm / 2 pm - 4 pm

Monday - Friday

Please note our current service arrangements

Contact us:

Tel. 01786 466619


Please contact us in advance of your visit. Material can be ordered in advance by emailing us at