New England Hospital for Women and Children. Records, 1914-1954 (inclusive), 1950-1954
(bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
The collection was processed with funds provided by the National Historical Publications
and Records Commission.
Call No.: MC 252
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: New England Hospital for Women and Children
Title: Records of the New England Hospital for Women and Children, 1914-1954 (inclusive),
Quantity: .42 linear feet (1 file box)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Minutes, correspondence, notes, etc., of the New England Hospital for Women and Children,
founded by women in 1862 and until the 1950s staffed exclusively by women.
Accession number: 73-177
The papers of the New England Hospital were deposited in the Schlesinger Library by
Dr. Bertha Offenbach in December 1973.
Processed: September 1977
By: Katherine Kraft
Access. Collection is open for research.
Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the New England Hospital for Women
and Children as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by
their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Records may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
New England Hospital for Women and Children Records, 1914-1954; item description,
dates. MC 252, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University,
The following items have been removed from the collection and transferred to files
in the Schlesinger Library:
- "Marie Elizabeth Zakrzewska: A Memoir," by New England Hospital for Women and ChildrenWC,
- "Ninety-Seventh Annual Report of the New York Infirmary, December 31st, 1950."
The New England Hospital, formerly the New England Hospital for Women and Children,
was founded in Boston in 1862 by Dr. Marie Zakrzewska. The Hospital's objectives were:
"1) to provide for women medical aid of competent physicians of their own sex; 2)
to assist educated women in the practical study of medicine; and 3) to train nurses
for the care of the sick." New England Hospital was the first hospital staffed entirely
by women physicians, and began the first nursing school in the United States, graduating
the first American trained nurse (Linda Richards, in 1872) as well as the first black
nurse (Mary Eliza Mahoney, in 1879). The name of the Hospital was officially changed
in 1951 to reflect the fact that men were also being admitted as patients.
By early 1950 the Hospital was beset with financial difficulties, leading to a report
by the Board of Directors urging the abandonment of a hospital operated by women and
the inclusion of men on the active staff. This recommendation caused a split between
the Board and the staff, who felt morally and legally bound by the chartered objectives
of the Hospital, and by Article 10(a) of the By-laws: "The medical officers of the
Hospital shall consist of one or more resident physicians...all of whom must be women."
For a brief period the Board prevailed, and men were appointed to the staff, but this
policy was reversed in 1952. Lack of funds also led to the closing of the School of
Nursing in 1951. The discontinuance of funding from United Community Services was
a further blow to the Hospital. Disagreements over staffing and funding continued
throughout the early 1950s. Although financial difficulties continued on and off for
several years, New England Hospital survived. By 1962 the By-laws had been rewritten
and men were once more serving on the active staff. In November 1969 the name was
changed again, this time to the Dimock Community Health Center.
This collection contains correspondence, notes, memoranda, drafts of statements, and
reports about the Board/staff disagreements over staffing and funding, 1950-1954;
lists of Corporation, Board, and staff members; a few financial reports and Executive
Committee minutes; 5 annotated annual reports; notes on the Blanche Ames Ames Fund,
1952; booklets, leaflets, and newsclippings re New England Hospital for Women and
Children; and newsclippings and articles re the School of Nursing, women in medicine,
and medical education.
- 1. Correspondence, general, most re staff, 1950-1952. Includes typed letter, signed from
Helen Taussig, February 11, 1952.
- 2. Correspondence re New England Hospital for Women and Children finances and by-laws,
- 3. Correspondence with and about Dr. Esther Bartlett and New England Hospital for Women
and Children Anesthesiology Department, 1951-1952. Also, typescript carbon copy draft
of report on Esther Bartlett, c.1952, and mimeograph letter sent to Board and Corporation
by former staff physicians, n.d.
- 4. Correspondence. New England Hospital for Women and Children memoranda and announcements
of meetings, 1951. Also, Blanche Ames mimeograph letter to the officers, Board, and
Committee of United Community Services, February 11, 1953.
- 5. New England Hospital for Women and Children questionnaires on New England Hospital
for Women and Children facilities returned by physicians using New England Hospital
for Women and Children. Most January 31, 1951, some March 1. Includes summary of results,
and 2 typed letters, signed from doctors.
- 6. Report of the Committee on the New England Hospital for Women and Children, and 3
mimeograph copies of Report with Comments (by staff), some with manuscript notations,
1 signed. 1951.
- 7. Four drafts of statement detailing history of and arguments against proposed reorganization,
October 31, 1951, typescript carbon copy.
- 8. Form letters and reports on disagreement over reorganization and financial difficulties,
1951-1953. Most mimeograph, 2 typescript carbon copies. Also, "Facts and Statistical
Data in Favor of the New England Hospital for Women and Children versus United Community
Services 'Basic Considerations'", New England Hospital for Women and Children Board,
Oct. 1953; and list of United Community Services Board, 1950.
- 9. Notes on competency of women physicians, New England Hospital for Women and Children
physician-needs by department, and lists of women physicians with number of years
in practice and specialty ratings, c. April 1951. Also, statistics on hospital use,
c. January 1952; and list of Massachusetts members of American Medical Women's Association,
- 10. Notes, drafts of statements and arguments. Includes typescript carbon copy of Ann
Manton letter to Blanche Ames Ames, July 17, 1951, and 1 autograph letter, signed
from Blanche Ames Ames to Ann Manton, September 30, 1951.
- 11. Notes, arguments against reorganization, c.1951.
- 12. 3 motions on actions taken at meetings, 1951-1952, typescript.; unidentified transcript
[fragment] of conversation, n.d., and typescript of arguments against reorganization,
n.d.; and drafts of statements to be mailed in by staff, December 1951.
- 13. Notes, outlines on history of Hospital and current problems, list of speakers, annotated
list of Board and Corporation members, 1951. [Originally labeled "Annual meeting material",
probably for January 1952.]
- 14. Notes, drafts on Hospital admissions, necessity of using students at New England Hospital
for Women and Children, and miscellaneous, n.d. Includes administration memo of February
26, 1952 re anesthetists.
- 15. Notes, arguments, n.d. [Originally labeled "material not used."]
- 16. Minutes and reports:
- Report of Treasurer, September 30, 1914, typescript copy
- Financial resume for 1951, typescript
- Treasurer's Report to Board, February 26, 1952, mimeograph
- Progress report on survey of hospital facilities relative to the re-opening of the
School of Nursing, July 29, 1952, dittoed
- Minutes of Executive Committee meeting, July 18, 1951, typescript carbon copy
- Excerpts of minutes of Executive Committee, 1949-July 27, 1951, typescript carbon
- Report of Voluntary Committee of the Corporation, c. December 1951, typescript carbon
- 17. New England Hospital for Women and Children Annual Reports, with notations: 1923,
1924, 1929, 1930, 1935.
- 18. Loose notes removed from Annual Reports, dated with year of Report.
- 19. Miscellaneous:
- Invitation to benefit film, March 20, 1950
- Mimeograph announcements of intern and resident appointments, program for interns,
application for staff appointment, n.d.
- Mimeograph memo to surgical staff re anesthesia coverage, March 5, 1951
- 20. New England Hospital for Women and Children Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 2, January 1951; Vol. 1, No. 3, February 1951. Our Hospital [New England Hospital for Women and Children], Vol. 1, No. 1, November 1952.
- 21. Lists of New England Hospital for Women and Children Corporation, 1951 and Board,
1951-1952, mimeograph with notes and corrections. Also, typescript list with notes,
of unconfirmed Board members [1952?].
- 22. Lists of active, courtesy and consultant staffs, 1951. Mimeograph, typescript, manuscript
- 23. Lists of active, courtesy and consultant staffs, and staff committees, 1952. Mimeograph,
- 24. Lists of active, courtesy and consultant staffs, 1953, n.d. Typescript
- 25. List of names, and notes re Blanche Ames Ames Fund and gifts, February 1952.
- 26. Pamphlets re New England Hospital for Women and Children:
- "History of the New England Hospital for Women and Children, 1859-1899: Fair at the
Hotel Vendome, December 4-9, 1899," includes photographs
- "For Women and Children: Seventieth Year of Service, 1862-1931"
- New England Hospital for Women and Children 90th Anniversary Dinner Dance program,
November 5, 1952
- "The New England Hospital for Women and Children," n.d.
- 27. Leaflets by and about New England Hospital for Women and Children:
- "The New England Hospital for Women and Children," by Grace Rochford, Journal of the American Medical Women's Association, Vol. 5, No. 12, December 1910
- New England Hospital for Women and Children leaflets, 1932, 1950, n.d.
- New England Hospital for Women and Children leaflet report, 1950
- "The G.P.'s Hospital," New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 245, No. 10, September 6, 1951.
- 28. Newsclippings and articles re New England Hospital for Women and Children, 1951-1952.
- 29. Newsclippings and articles re closing of the School of Nursing, 1951; and general
newsclippings on nurse shortage, 1951.
- 30. Articles re women in medicine; article re Dr. Margaret Craighill; obituaries of Doctors
Bianca Rachel (Lia) Gordon, Lucia Wheeler, Hannah Simmons, and Mary W. Marvell, 1951-1953.
- 31. Newsclippings and articles on physicians, medical education, medical audits, and fee
vs. salary controversy, 1948, 1950-1951, n.d.
Women in medicine
Fineberg, Bertha Offenbach, 1908-
Taussig, Helen B. (Helen Brooke), 1898-1986
United Community Services of Metropolitan Boston