Department of Archaeology

Research Profile: Jennifer Jones

December 22, 2010

Jennifer Jones’  archaeology research examines material culture from an early British Columbia psychiatric hospital or “insane asylum” as it was called at the time.

She writes:

I’m trying to look at changes in daily life for patients and different treatment regimes used at the Public Hospital for the Insane in New Westminster, BC, as reflected in the material remains. This project will focus on the period from the opening of the institution in 1878 until the 1940s.

By looking at the objects of day-to-day life, such as the ceramics, cutlery, and clothing selected for patients, we can get a sense of these things were used to rehabilitate people and create “proper citizens.” We can also look at whether patients were allowed personal effects, the types of things they were eating, and how they were spending their time.

I’ll be using a variety of methods to explore some of these ideas, including archaeological excavations and archival research.

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