Photographs from Retreat archive online

Posted on 7 September 2016

A collection of over 1500 photographs from the Retreat archive is now available to view online

As part of our Wellcome Library funded Retreat digitisation project we are systematically digitising the Retreat archive and making it available online via the Wellcome Library catalogue.

The Retreat was founded by the Society of Friends and opened in 1796. It is one of the most important institutions in the care and treatment of mental health patients.

Over the summer months we have been digitising the photographs within the archive and these images are now freely available online. Dating from c.1850 onwards, they provide a fascinating glimpse into life at the Retreat.

The images range from exterior and interior shots of the buildings themselves, to images of patients and staff, of special events and of treatments (including Art Therapy on the Retreat lawn).



A photograph from the Retreat archive (RET/1/8/9/7/34) available via the Wellcome Library catalogue


The collection of images (along with a huge quantity of other documents from the archive) can be accessed here. Search for "RET/1/8" to locate the photographs within the catalogue.

Read all about our Retreat digitisation project on our project pages.