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Ashes to Ashes: "Library of Dust" Sheds Light on Mental Illness

Ashes to Ashes: "Library of Dust" Sheds Light on Mental Illness

 

While touring the Oregon State Hospital a legislator and a team of journalists happen upon a shed-like structure. Inside, they discover thousands of corroding copper canisters that hold the cremated remains of more than 3,500 people who died while living at the state hospital, Oregon State Tuberculosis Hospital, Mid-Columbia Hospital, Dammasch State Hospital, Oregon State Penitentiary, and Fairview Training Center. Following this discovery, the Oregon Legislature passed a law so that information identifying these individuals could be disclosed for the purposes of reunifying them with family members and creating a memorial for those persons whose remains are not claimed. In 2010, a documentary film team began work on "Library of Dust," which tells the story of the cremains, from the initial discovery to the memorial being constructed to honor them.