i have always been obsessed with stuff like this.
my friend Angela & I nearly embarked on a similiar project....
its an insanely emotional journey to sift through the remnants
of someones life as told through what they've left behind.
(i think thats why i always drag david into abandoned houses, attics
and basements)

here is WONDERFUL example of a photographer documenting through photography--
the individual stories of asylum patients in NYC.

More than four hundred abandoned suitcases filled with patients’ belongings were found when Willard Psychiatric Center closed in 1995 after 125 years of operation. They are skillfully examined here and compared to the written record to create a moving—and devastating—group portrait of twentieth-century American psychiatric care.

an attic filled with forgotten trunks,
with the remnants of what these folks brought with them.
they would never leave the asylum, their trunks would never leave the attic.
until now.

check out his work here
and fund his project here 

AND- the book written about it, and reviews:

“The haunting thing about the suitcase owners is that it’s so easy to identify with them.”—Newsweek

“In their poignant detail the items helped rescue these individuals from the dark sprawl of anonymity.”—The New York Times

“[The authors] spent 10 years piecing together . . . the lives these patients lived before they were nightmarishly stripped of their identities.”—Newsday

here are some possessions of some of those lost souls:

he came to the asylum in the 1930's....

RAYMOND H. (circa 1923... he had rolling papers. and rope.)

...was a crafter. 
and attended the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in chicago.


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