Historical information

The new Kew Lunatic Asylum was completed in 1871 and opened in 1872. The year 1972 marked it's centenary. Over the years, members of staff at the asylum collected records, photographs, publications and plans of the asylum, later hospital. The Society has a number of important collections relating to the asylum and the Children's Cottages. These include the Dr Cliff Judge, the Irena Higgins and the Dr Fred Stamp Collections. This item was one of a number donated by the family of the late Dr. Fred Stamp who was the last medical superintendent of the Hospital. Dr Frederick Stamp graduated from Bristol Medical School (UK) in 1968. He and his family emigrated to Australia in 1977 to Goulburn (NSW), moving to Melbourne in 1980. He became Superintendent at Willsmere in 1981 until its closure in 1988.


Following their closure, the medical records of the Kew Mental Hospital and the Children's Cottages Kew were relocated to the archives of Victorian Government departments and ultimately to the Public Records Office of Victoria. Other collections, such as the Fred Stamp Collection, were assembled by staff who worked at the hospital. The years leading up to the closure of Kew must have been fraught, and many of the items in the hospital were probably destined for hard waste disposal. Dr. Fred Stamp, the last medical superintendent, kept aside or rescued a number of these items, of which this is one. Following his death, his family donated these to the Kew Historical Society. The Society recognises these items to be of lasting historical significance, essentially due to their provenance and to their rarity. Together they (and the Judge and Higgins Collections) are an invaluable aid for researchers of the institutions' histories.

Physical description

Red vinyl photographic album containing 43 images of the Kew Mental Hospital from its origins until ca. 1965. Within the album, there are a range of photos of various sizes. Photos are typically labelled by date, especially within decade. The photos are of varying quality and historical significance. the subject of the photos in the album include architectural features, internal and external environments, patients and staff. Those to be published separately are deemed to be unique and or significant. The album forms part of the Dr. Fred Stamp Collection.