The Opal

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The Opal (1851–1860) is a ten volume journal written and edited by the patients of the Utica State Lunatic Asylum, circa 1851. On its more than 3,000 pages, writers talked of their experiences and world views, giving great insight to the environment of New York's premiere state-operated Asylum, in Utica, New York. Themes that continuously arose in the poetry, prose, political commentary, and articles about insanity include issues concerning medication, restraint, seclusion, human rights, liberty, overcoming oppression, and support.

See also[edit]


  • Eannace, M. (2001). Lunatic Literature: New York State's The Opal (1851–1860). UMI,
  • Tenney, Lauren J. (2006). "Who fancies to have a Revolution here? The Opal Revisited (1851–1860)". Radical Psychology (5).
  • The Opal (1851–1860). Edited by the Patients. New York State Lunatic Asylum.

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