I have been doing some research into my Great-Grandmother and her death in the Hospital of the Insane, Stockton. I commented on this on Facebook and several of you asked how to go about accessing any records and I have decided to write up how to go about it.
Once you have the death certificate or transcript of the persons death, you need to contact NSW State Archives. They are wonderful in pointing you in the direction you need to follow. As Mental Health and Asylum records have a 110yr access period you will most likely need permission from NSW Health, to see the records, Archives will point you in the right direction.
Looks at these two Archives in Brief for more details on what is held at the Archives,
Archives in Brief - 85 - Mental health facilities - Patient records and Archives in Brief - 86 Infirm and destitute asylum - Inmate records. Both of these can be found at; www.records.nsw.gov.au and look under Quick Links.
Having made contact with the relevant department, you will need to prove your relationship to the person. Start with yourself and work backwards, married ladies don't forget to show your name change. Below is a list of the documents I had to provide;
1) My marriage certificate
2) My birth certificate
3) My Mum's marriage certificate
4) My Mum's birth certificate
5) My Grandparents marriage certificate
6) My Granddad's birth certificate
7) My Great-Grandparent's marriage certificate
8) My Great-Grandma's birth certificate
9) My Great-Grandma's death certificate.
With NSW Health I was able to scan and email these to them and they emailed me the permission letter in return. The process to around two weeks.
Re-contact NSW State Archives and let then know you have permission, to see the records. They will then see what they hold and let you know, again about 10 working days is required.
With mine, because she died in Stockton, I have also had to get permission for those, separately, using the same documents. They will do the searching and let me know. I don't know if they will copy and send them to me or what?
A few words of caution, don't get your hopes up as to what you might find, this is my second person I have asked to view and I hope it will be more fruitful than the first. With the first one I received a one line entry in the admissions and discharge book, that was it. If you don't search, you wont know. I will keep you posted as to what I find.