Boston Hospital for Women. Records, 1926–1983 (inclusive), 1966–1979 (bulk): Finding
Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: BWH c005
Repository: Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Title: Boston Hospital for Women Records, 1926–1983 (inclusive), 1966–1979 (bulk).
Date(s): 1926–1983 (inclusive),
Date(s): 1966–1979 (bulk).
Quantity: 5.2 cubic feet (5 standard record cartons and 1 half letter size document box.)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Boston Hospital for Women. Records, 1926–1983 (inclusive), 1966–1979 (bulk), are the
product of the hospital staff's administrative, fundraising, publication, and public
relations activities from 1966 through 1979.
Boston Hospital for Women records were placed on deposit with the Harvard Medical
Library in 2001 by the Brigham and Women's Hospital. Some of the collection was transferred
from the Brigham and Women's Hospital Medical Library to the Harvard Medical Library
in 2005. Additional material was added as follows:
Accession number 2008-040 was transferred from the Brigham and Women's Hospital Medical Library to the Harvard
Medical Library in 2007.
Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) owns the records described in this finding aid.
The Harvard Medical Library entered into a contract in 2001 to act as the repository
for some of BWH's archival records. Before the transfer to the Harvard Medical Library,
many of the records were in storage at various locations within the BWH. In 2005,
additions to the collection were assembled and transferred from a BWH storage facility
at 850 Boylston Street, Boston, MA by Anne Fladger, Director of the BWH Medical Library.
This collection was processed and this finding aid was written by Catherine Pate at
the Center for the History of Medicine. It was published in 2008. A revised version
was published in 2016.
The records, transferred in bulk from the BWH, were made up of records from all
the individual hospitals that eventually merged to become the Affiliated Hospitals
Center (AHC), which in turn became Brigham and Women's Hospital. Processing staff
made the decision to organize the records by their provenance, and processed and described
each individual hospital's records separately. Consequently, the original transfer
yielded seven groups of records, one of which is the Boston Hospital for Women records.
The records for each hospital were organized into series and described based on practices
used at the Harvard Medical School Archives. Processing for this collection also involved
primary preservation, arrangement, and the creation of this detailed finding aid.
Duplicate records and records that did not meet the archival collection goals of the
Brigham and Women's Hospital Medical Library were discarded.
Access requires advance notice. Access to unpublished administrative records is restricted
for 50 years from creation date. Patient information is restricted indefinitely. Restricted
records, except restricted patient photographs, are noted in the finding aid. Researchers
may apply for access to restricted material. Consult the Director of Brigham and Women's
Hospital Medical Library for further information. (email: BWHMedicalLibrary@partners.org.)
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed
to the Director of Brigham and Women's Hospital Medical Library. (email: BWHMedicalLibrary@partners.org.)
However, the Brigham and Women's Hospital does not hold copyright on all the materials
in this collection. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Director
are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold
Boston Hospital for Women Records, 1926–1983 (inclusive), 1966–1979 (bulk). BWH c5.
Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, Mass.
- Brigham and Women's Hospital. Records, 1913– (inclusive), 1980–2000 (bulk). [BWH c1]
- Affiliated Hospitals Center (Boston, Mass.) Records, 1966–1984.[BWH c2]
- Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. Records, 1830– (inclusive), 1911–1980 (bulk). [BWH c3]
- Robert B. Brigham Hospital. Records, 1889–1984 (inclusive), 1915–1980, (bulk). [BWH c4]
- Free Hospital for Women. Records, 1875–1975. [BWH c6]
- Free Hospital for Women. Records, 1879–1969. [MC 915]
- ___ Free Hospital for Women Scrapbook [Provides access to page images of this portion of collection MC 915.]
- Boston Lying-in Hospital. Records, 1855–1986 (inclusive), 1921–1966 (bulk). [BWH c7]
Boston Hospital for Women was formed on May 2, 1966 as the result of a merger between
two Harvard affiliated teaching hospitals that concentrated on women's health issues.
The Boston Lying-in Hospital, established in 1832, was a facility focusing on obstetrics,
and the Free Hospital for Women, organized in 1875, was dedicated to gynecological
care and research. (See http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/~med00056
for historical notes on these two hospitals.)
Merger ideas began in the 1950s at the Free Hospital for Women when a desire for
broader study of women's health, rather than just the study of gynecology alone, affected
the choices for training of young medical professionals. In 1951, the Boston Lying-in
Hospital and the Free Hospital for Women integrated resident appointments to give
applicants three years of the combined training needed for certification by the American
Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This example of cooperation between the two hospitals
paralleled a developing urge to consolidate services among several other Harvard teaching
hospitals. By 1958 the Free Hospital trustees had approved a plan to pursue joining
the Boston Lying-in Hospital, The Children's Hospital Medical Center, the Massachusetts
Eye and Ear Infirmary, the Robert Breck Brigham, and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospitals
as part of a new "Harvard Medical Center." In 1960, Lillian Grahn, Free Hospital for
Women Administrator, a longtime advocate of combining hospitals, wrote a report detailing
the pros and cons of a merger specifically with the Boston Lying-in Hospital. On the
basis of this report, the Free Hospital Board of Trustees began feasibility studies.
Concurrently, a project to build a new hospital complex for the future Harvard Medical
Center (later known as the Affiliated Hospitals Center) began, but many legal, social,
and financial hurdles delayed the construction and consolidation process. In the interim,
progress on the merger of the two women's hospitals was considered a major step forward
in the eventual integration of all the Harvard teaching hospitals.
By an act of the Massachusetts legislature in 1965, the two women's hospitals were
authorized to merge and Dr. John G. Freymann was appointed general director of the
Boston Lying-in Hospital, Coordinator of the Free Hospital for Women, and General
Director-designate for the new Boston Hospital for Women which was officially incorporated
in 1966. Though located in separate buildings, the Boston Lying-in Hospital was referred
to as the Lying-in Division, and the Free Hospital for Women was referred to as the
Parkway Division. In 1975, the Boston Hospital for Women merged with the Peter Bent
Brigham and the Robert B. Brigham Hospitals forming the Affiliated Hospitals Center.
After the merger of the three hospitals the Boston Hospital for Women was referred
to as a division of Affiliated Hospital Center.
In 1980, at the time of the opening of the long-awaited, state-of-the-art facility,
the Affiliated Hospitals Center was renamed as Brigham and Women's Hospital, a teaching
affiliate of the Harvard Medical School. The Lying-in division and the Parkway division
patients were relocated from the former facilities into the new merged facilities
beginning on July 9, 1980, and the obstetrical services and nurseries were moved at
the end of February in 1981.
- Boston Lying-in Hospital. Annual Report, 1965. Boston: 1965.
- Freymann, John G. "Pioneering for the Future." Harvard Medical School Alumni Bulletin 41 (Spring, 1967): 37–39.
- Cappers, Elmer Osgood. History of the Free Hospital for Women, 1875–1975. Boston: Boston Hospital for Women, 1975.
- Series I. Program Establishment, Development, and Review Records, 1966–1976.
- Series II. External Program Relations Records, 1979–1980.
- Series III. Special Issues Records, 1948, 1968–1983.
- Series IV. Fund Development Records, 1956–1980.
- Series V. Public Relations Records, 1926–1981.
- ___ Subseries A. Newspaper Clippings, 1966–1977.
- ___ Subseries B. Photographs, 1926–1981.
- Series VI. Special Events Records, 1967.
- Series VII. Publications, 1970–1982.
- Series VIII. Memorabilia,circa 1960s–1970s.
The Boston Hospital for Women records include those created during the time period
in which Boston Hospital for Women was a separate record keeping entity—after the
merger between its parent hospitals, the Boston Lying-in Hospital and the Free Hospital
for Women, in 1966, and before its full integration into the Brigham and Women's Hospital
starting in 1980. There are some photographs and article reprints in the collection
that pre-date the 1966 merger, as well as records related to scholarship programs
and award programs begun before and continuing past the 1966 merger. After the 1975
merger with the Peter Bent Brigham and the Robert B. Brigham Hospitals, the Boston
Hospital for Women operated officially as a division of the Affiliated Hospitals Center,
but kept using the Boston Hospital for Women identifier for newsletters, correspondence,
board meetings, and fundraising.
The collection includes annual reports and Board of Directors' correspondence from
1966–1976. Two subject folders on the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), and XYY chromosomes
research are included. Public Relations department records comprise the majority of
items in the collection. These include newspaper clippings mentioning the hospital,
and many photographic prints of various department activities, staff, and events from
the 1960s and 1970s.
- Series: II. External Program Relations Records 2 folders
Scope and Contents: Meeting notes, proposals, correspondence, grant applications, and notes related to
the Comprehensive School Age Parenting Program created in 1975 in conjunction with
Boston English High School, C.O.P.E. and Infants and Other People Day Care Center
to deal with issues related unplanned teenage pregnancy. These records are dated after
the second merger but relate to a program begun pre-merger.
- Box 1, Folder 6, Comprehensive School Age Parenting Program (CSAPP), 1979–1980.
- Box 1, Folder 7, Comprehensive School Age Parenting Program (CSAPP), 1979–1980.
- Series: III. Special Issue Records 3 folders
Date: 1948, 1968–1983.
Scope and Contents: Contains records related to health issues of special concern which affected hospital
administration and patient welfare. Includes two folders of journal articles, newspaper
clippings, informational brochures, discussion notes, and correspondence related to
the effect the drug DES had on the children of women given DES during pregnancy. Folder
dates mentioned are for the years items in the content were published, not the years
the items were collected. The majority of the articles and clippings are from 1973–1974.
Another folder of similar material, plus drafts of position papers, press releases,
and memoranda, relates to the controversy over Boston Hospital for Women research
on male children born with an extra Y chromosome.
- Box 1, Folder 8, Diethylstilbestrol (DES). 1948, 1972–1983.
Date: 1948, 1972–1983.
- Box 1, Folder 9, Diethylstilbestrol (DES). 1968–1977.
- Box 1, Folder 10, XYY Chromosomes Research. 1967, 1974–1975.
Date: 1967, 1974–1975.
This folder contains one unrelated document, a personally written review of hospital
activities and issues during late 1966–early 1967, by General Director, John G. Freymann, M.D.
- Series: IV. Fund Development Records 2 folders
Scope and Contents: Consists of correspondence, notes, receipts, accounting records, donation records,
sample application form, fundraising event records, and Gertrude Garron biographical
information, for the Gertrude Garron Scholarship Fund. Also includes sample appeal
letters and brochures, plus project summary reports, assembled for a 1976 fundraising
campaign award application for a project called "Sale on Giving."
- Box 1, Folder 11, Gertrude Garron Scholarship Fund. 1956–1980
- Box 1, Folder 12, BHW Fundraising, "Sale on Giving, " 1975–1976.
Folder includes one formally printed copy of the Boston Hospital for Women By-Laws.
- Series: V. Public Relations Records (2 folders, 3 boxes, 2 items.)
Scope and Contents: Contains loose newspaper clippings and clippings scrapbooks. Also includes many photographic
prints of various department activities, staff, and events. The majority of the images
are unidentified and undated. Most of the images are 8" x 10" black and white prints.
Where dates are not specifically noted, the photographs in each folder can be generally
dated to circa 1960s and/or 1970s. Most of the photographs are stamped with "Public
Relations, Boston Hospital for Women" on the back.
- A. Newspaper Clippings (1 folder, 2 items.)
- Box 1, Folder 13, Boston Hospital for Women Press Clippings, General,
Scope and Contents: Includes an article from JAMA, October 1968, on an outbreak of puerpural fever at
the Boston Lying-in Hospital in April, 1965.
- Box 1, Folder 13A, Boston Hospital for Women Press Clippings, "Donation Day,"
- Item 1. Box 5, Newspaper Clippings Scrapbook
- Item 2. Box 5, Newspaper Clippings Scrapbook
- Series: VII. Publications 23 folders
Scope and Contents: Contains issues of This Week at BHW, (name revised to This Week in 1971) a single-sheet newsletter published weekly for employees focusing on "news
of immediate concern to both divisions," published from 1970 through 1978. There are
no issues in the archives for 1976. Also contains issues of BHW News, a publication created by the Office of Public Relations for "employees, Members of
the Corporation, retired employees, and Friends of the BHW." The archives holds issues
from the first, January–February 1967, through Fall of 1977. There are no issues for
1975 in the archives and the holdings for the years 1972–1977 are incomplete. A second
box contains non-serial publications including forms, brochures, and article drafts.
- Box 1, Folder 16, This Week at the BHW, 1970.
- Box 1, Folder 17, This Week at the BHW, 1971.
- Box 1, Folder 18, This Week, 1972.
No January 3rd issue published.
- Box 1, Folder 19, This Week, 1973.
May 21st issue missing; no February 19th or August 13th issue published.
- Box 1, Folder 20, This Week, 1974.
No February 11th or August 5th issues.
- Box 1, Folder 21, This Week , 1975.
Date: October, 1975.
No December 1st or December 8th issues. Includes single issue of AHC Colleague Report,
Date: October, 1975.
- Box 1, Folder 22, This Week, 1977.
- Box 1, Folder 23, This Week, 1978.
No February 13th issue; no issues after April 24th.
- Box 1, Folder 24, BHW News, 1967–1970.
- Box 1, Folder 25, BHW News, 1971–1974.
- Box 1, Folder 26, BHW News, 1976–1977.
- Box 1, Folder 27, BHW News, 1976.
Includes printer related notes and invoices.
- Box 1, Folder 28, BHW News, Winter/Spring, 1977.
Date: Winter/Spring, 1977.
This folder contains publication notes and the winter/spring issues in draft form
- Box 1, Folder 29, BHW News, Spring, 1977.
Date: Spring, 1977.
Includes printing related notes and invoices.
- Box 1, Folder 30, BHW News, Fall, 1977.
Date: Fall, 1977.
This includes publication notes and the fall issue in draft form.
- Box 2, Folder 1, Cancerous and Precancerous Diseases of Cervix,
Draft only, and related correspondence.
- Box 2, Folder 2, Outline of Causes for Infertility,
- Box 2, Folder 3, Amniocentesis for Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis,
Includes draft copy.
- Box 2, Folder 4, Miscellaneous BHW Informational Brochures,
- Box 2, Folder 5, Miscellaneous BHW Informational Brochures,
- Box 2, Folder 6, BHW Forms and Press Reprints,
Contains copies of 2 hospital forms, a diploma, and article reprints on abortion,
midwifery, and the history of, and merger between, the Boston Lying-in Hospital and
the Free Hospital for Women.
- Box 2, Folder 7, Moving Related Material,
Contains brochures, invitations, and programs about relocation to the new Brigham
and Women's Hospital bed tower and the tower dedication ceremonies, and related correspondence.
- Box 2, Folder 8, History of the Free Hospital for Women 1875–1975, by Elmer Osgood Cappers, 1975.
Hardbound book published by the Boston Hospital for Women.
- Series: VIII. Memorabilia 1 items
Date: circa 1960s–1970s.
- Item 3. Box 5, Four Views Framed etching, 11½ " x 11½", by Will Commerford, depicting the Boston Lying-in Hospital,
the Free Hospital for Women, the Countway Library, and Gordon Hall at Harvard Medical
School. Edition 20 of 55.
On back: "These views of the four participating institutions have been engraved by
Will Commerford for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology as a reminder of indebtedness
to lecturers in the Post Graduate Course presented March 19–30, 1973."