The Pennhurst State School and Hospital opened in 1908 and did not close until 1987, after decades of scandal, neglect, and lawsuits. What should have been a place to care for and educate individuals with disabilities became an abusive and inhumane housing facility. Since Pennhurst closed, one group that strives to commemorate the lives impacted by and lost to Pennhurst, is the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance. The PMPA's mission is to, "promote an understanding of the struggle for dignity and full civil rights for persons with disabilities, using the little-known history at Pennhurst. By sharing this tragic story as well as its landmark victories, we seek to educate citizens in local, national, and international communities to assure that we can never go back." For more information on the history of Pennhurst and the current work of PMPA, click here.
To access the finding aid for the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance Papers, click the document below.