52 for 150: What’s So Special About Your Library’s Topeka State Hospital Artifacts?

Today is National Mental Health Awareness Day, and for week 41 of our Kansas sesquicentennial video series, we’re highlighting some of our most interesting artifacts from the former Topeka State Hospital (aka the Topeka Insane Asylum), as well as telling the story of a particularly famous resident, Boston Corbett.

A special thanks to the generosity of David Bahm and George Meier, the demolition guys in charge of the project who donated the copper cupola and a yellow brick to the Library. Read the story about how we coordinated these gifts here!


About 52 for 150

Every object has a story, and stories build history. To celebrate 150 years of Kansas statehood we’re featuring 52 objects (or collections of related objects)—something new each week throughout the year—from the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library’s 130-year-old special, and permanent collections, that represent our collective state history and cultural diversity.

Our collections are available for teachers, students, researchers and general interest, and we hope this online video program will provide insight into what’s so “special” about Special Collections. Your library’s commitment to collecting art and preserving local history makes it possible for users today and in the future to have immediate access to invaluable research material and cultural artifacts.

To make an appointment to see these and other TSH artifacts, or get help finding other books or videos related to this topic, call or stop by the Topeka Room (785-580-4510) on the Library’s second floor. We’re located at the top of the stairs on your left.


Heather Kearns

I've been the Sabatini Gallery's associate curator since 2004 and social media coordinator since 2008. My passion is helping people “get“ art, and by that I mean creating an environment both in-house and online which fosters a greater understanding, confidence, and sense of enjoyment from the art experience. Art should be easy to access and available to everyone. I take helping people very seriously.