Aradale and J Ward stand as monuments to the history of Ararat, and now locals pushing to preserve that history are planning to make the stories of the lunatic asylums more accessible to the public.
A discovery centre is set to be launched at the J Ward that executive committee member, Amelia Stomm, says is going to be like a public library.
"It'll be a room at the top of the main cellblock, set up with tablets connected to a server that contains all of our digitized records," Ms Stomm said.
"People will be able to come into that room, they'll pay a fee of $5 for adults to get in, and that fee will entitle them to spend three hours looking through all of our digitized records using tablets.
"They'll be able to look at the catalogue and go, ok I'm looking for records to do with Aradale in 1887, bingo, these are the records they've got."
There are exceptions to what records will available as they don't have permission to share some files publicly.
Ms Stomm calls the creation of a discovery centre critical as all of their records are paper based.
"If J Ward was to go up in flames tomorrow, we would lose all of that history," she said.
"So digitizing those records is really important to preserve that history."
The creation of J Ward's Discovery Centre will meet a 'real community need' according to Ms Stomm.
"We've actually had feedback from the community that they would love to be able to come in and look up information," she said.
"It's really going to give people a much deeper insight into J Ward and Aradale and into the living conditions and the evolvement of living conditions over time at both institutions as well."
The Discovery Centre will officially launch on Saturday, December 2, with bookings being taken from the December 3.
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