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Asylum Hill Research Consortium

Dr. Ralph Didlake now leads the Asylum Hill Research Consortium, a group of scholars from various disciplines, formed to study, oversee possible exhumations, and respectfully memorialize the lives of those buried on the grounds of what is now the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss.

Pictured in 2018 (front, from left) are consortium members and collaborators including Eric Hospodor, Dr. Sara Gleason, Dr. Ralph Didlake, Mary Ball Markow, Misti Thornton, Dr. Amy Wiese Forbes, Dr. Caroline Compretta, Dr. Véronique Bélisle; (back) Dr. Thomas Gregory, Dr. Tony Boudreaux, Dr. Patrick Hopkins, Dr. Janice Brockley, Dr. Shamsi Berry and Dr. Molly Zuckerman. 

Our mission

To preserve, rigorously investigate, and promote the public history and scientific value of the Mississippi State Insane Asylum and to honor the experience and legacy of the individuals who were its patients over an important 80-year period in the history of medicine, mental illness, disability, and social institutions in the State of Mississippi.

Our vision

The Asylum Hill Research Consortium is a model program for investigation, civic engagement, and education in the medical humanities and bioarchaeology. Using evidence-based research, and the best practices of archiving, memorialization, scientific method, and social history, the project serves as both a guide and resource for scholars across disciplines and among diverse organizations.

Guiding principles

The guiding principles of the consortium are:

  • Responsible stewardship of physical, cultural, and scientific value of resources
  • Adherence to prevailing disciplinary standards of practice
  • Shared scholarship across disciplines and effective dissemination of data
  • Alignment with UMMC missions 

2020 Consortium Members

University of Mississippi Medical Center

University of Mississippi

Mississippi State University

Millsaps College

  • George Bey, PhD
  • Amy Wiese Forbes, PhD

Jackson State University

Alcorn State University

  • Department of Social Science
    Yulonda Eadie Sano, PhD


University of Southern Mississippi

Texas State University

University of Idaho

University of Western Michigan School of Medicine

Community partners