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New England Hospital for Women and Children records

Identifier: SSC-MS-00339

Scope and Contents

The records of the New England Hospital contain manuscripts, photographs, annual reports, minutes, a scrapbook, printed material, legal and financial records, correspondence and memorabilia. They are divided into two parts. The first (SERIES I-V) is a group of miscellaneous papers dealing with the early history of the hospital. It includes material related to fund drives and anniversary celebrations (1896-1962); manuscript and published Annual Reports, 1863-1955; correspondence (1847-1922); business and financial papers (1859-1920); circulars and rules ; memoranda and minutes of physicians' meetings (1876-1917) (including one bound volume of minutes); photographs, a scrapbook; and miscellaneous subjects including a controversy over abortion (1915), the use of chloroform as an anesthetic (1888), and African-American women interns. There is also application material from women medical students seeking internships, including letters, forms, recommendations, and transcripts (1891-1926). The second part (SERIES VI) contains several hundred letters collected for their autograph value for sale at nineteenth century fund-raising fairs. These letters are largely from the correspondence of Ednah Dow Cheney and Eva Channing. While they do not relate in content to the Hospital, they are authored by major literary, political, and religious figures of the latter half of the nineteenth century. They form a valuable collection of source material in the social and intellectual history of the period. Topics include woman suffrage, social services, abolition, freedmen's education, literature, and Civil War relief. The correspondents cover a wide range of notables, including: Louisa May Alcott (1882-88), Alice Stone Blackwell (1886-1903); Elizabeth Blackwell (1848-87); George Washington Cable (1877-1904), Lydia Maria Child (1860-69), Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1857-1902); Julia Ward Howe (1862-1900); Henry Wadsworth Longfelllow (1864-78), Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (1881-87), Lucy Stone (1879-93), Harriet Beecher Stowe (1860-70), and John Greenleaf Whittier (1862-90). For additional noted correspondents see Search Terms.

These records provide a unique insight into medical education and health care for women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the sometimes difficult and contentious internal challenges within the Hospital, and its struggle to maintain its independence in a rapidly changing social and cultural environment.

The bulk of the hospital records are dated between 1862 and 1956. They are divided into six series: I. History, II. Personal, III. Financial, IV. Correspondence, V. Subjects, VI. Autograph Collection

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1792 - 1994


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright owner of this collection is unknown. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

The New England Hospital for Women and Children (NEH), founded by Dr. Marie Zakrzewska and Ednah Dow Cheney, opened in Boston on July 1, 1862. It was, for more than a century, a teaching hospital where women doctors and nurses could study and practice medicine and women could receive treatment from female doctors. It was the first hospital in Boston to offer obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatrics all in one facility. The concept grew out of Zakrzewska's close friendships with influential women in Boston. These early supporters included reformers such as Abby May, Caroline Severance and philanthropist, Lucy Goddard. Goddard served as president for the first twenty-fuve years until 1887. Cheney served as secretary, becoming president in 1887. She resigned in 1902. During its first ten years the NEH served primarily the immigrant population of the area. Despite the hard financial times during the Civil War, Dr. Zakrzewska and her supporters raised enough money to sustain the hospital in its early years. Throughout the nineteenth century the NEH grew steadily from ten beds and approximately $150 in assets in 1862 to a budget of $146,000 in 1872. Among the doctors who served the NEH were Dr. Susan Dimock and Dr. Lucy Sewall. The country's first trained nurse, Linda Richards, studied at NEH in 1873; and the first African-American nurse, Mary Eliza Mahoney, graduated in 1875. Born and nourished by separatism, the nineteenth century solution to sexual discrimination, the hospital, by the time of its centennial in 1962, was facing conflict over integration and the challenge of justifying its existence as an all-woman's hospital. This was due in part to a growing tendency among women doctors to achieve professional equality with men, manifested by the integration of the medical profession, specialization, membership in male-dominated medical societies, and affiliation at male dominated hospitals. There were continual financial troubles as well and in the 1950s, the United Community Services of Greater Boston recommended that the hospital be open to male physicians. In response to this pressure, the board of directors adopted one of its recommendations and changed the institution's official name from the New England Hospital for Women and Children to the New England Hospital, thus indicating their willingness to accept men as patients. The controversy continued through the 1950s and 1960s. Following a long battle led by Blanche Ames Ames, Chair of the hospital's board of directors, the NEH closed in 1969 and reopened as an outpatient clinic. The clinic was named the Dimock Community Health Center.

See also Hospital With A Heart: Women Doctors and the Paradox of Separatism in the New England Hospital, 1862-1969, by Virginia G. Drachman (Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 1984).


10.565 linear feet (31 containers)


Women's hospital. This hospital was, for more than a century, a teaching hospital for women doctors and a place where women could receive treatment from them. It was the first hospital in Boston to offer obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatrics all in one facility. Material includes memoranda, written histories, photographs and scrapbooks. Also documented are such topics as a 1915 controversy over abortion, using chloroform as an anesthetic, and African American interns. The collection includes several hundred letters collected for their autograph value for fund-raising fairs. The letters do not relate to the Hospital; content includes woman suffrage, abolition, freedmen's education, literature, and Civil War relief. Notable correspondents include: Louisa May Alcott, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Stone Blackwell, Elizabeth Blackwell, Lydia Maria Child, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Julia Ward Howe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Lucy Stone, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Greenleaf Whittier.


This collection is organized into six series:

  1. I. History
  2. II. Personal
  3. III. Financial
  4. IV. Correspondence
  5. V. Subjects
  6. VI. Autograph Collection

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Records of the New England Hospital for Women and Children were given to the Sophia Smith Collection between 1962 and 1964 by the Board of Directors through the efforts of Mary Byers Smith (Smith '08), member of the board.

Copies of photographs of Bessie H. Simpson were donated in 2009 by Janet McIiver. A floor plan was donated by NEH in 2010. A nursing yearbook was donated by Kathleen J. Fitzpatrick in 2011.

Additional Formats

Records of the meetings of physicians are available on microfilm, as part of the"History of Women"series, in the Sophia Smith Collection and through interlibrary loan.

Related Material

There are letters and application material regarding internships for Ruth V. Hemenway, Louise deSchweinitz and Alice B. Tallant whose papers are also in the Sophia Smith Collection. Related material can also be found in the Ames Family Papers (under Blanche Ames Ames). The Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University has patient records, 1862-1902 and some administrative records. The Schlesinger Library also at Harvard University has administrative records, 1914-1954. There is additional material as well in the Ames Family Papers in the Sophia Smith Collection.

Additional records of the hospital can be found in at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University.

See also the National Library of Medicine's exhibit Changing the Face of Medicine for pages on Mary Putnam Jacobi and Marie E. Zakrzewska.

Appendix: List of Interns

Margaret Moore
Mary Augusta Camp
Jannat Ernestine Hills
Maria Ingram
Henrietta P. Johnson
Harriet McCalmont
Mary Howell Miller
Fanne A. Merriam
Martha E. Pike
Miriam T. Runyon
Rose Slobodinsky
H. Adeline Thompson
Clarissa Bigelow
Mary Jones Brewster
Virginia Buttermore
Mary E. Caminade
Eva Carroll
Mary A. Charteris
Eleanor Chestnut
Florence DeHart
Sarah E. Evans
Louise H. Greene
Alice Hamilton
Louise H. Hart
Katherine S. Munhall
Mary A. Platter
Delia M. Rice
Mary Sanderson
Eleanor Tomes
Frances J. Trout
Della Mary Walker
Emma P. Weeks
Georgiana Whiting
Mary E. Bassett
Elizabeth Bulkley
Mary E. Christy
Jenny G. Dreuman
Emma H. Hodge
Mary Salona Holmes
Louise A. Husted
Harriet L. Knox
Susan Hunt Lawrence
Mary A. Leonard
Abby Noyes Little
Mary Williamina Lougee
Elizabeth McLuaghry
Henrietta Mood
Lois Neville
Marietta Newcombe
Phoebe R. Norris
Helen Nuzume
Maybelle M. Park
Eleanor Parry
Julia Riddle
Mary D. Rushmore
Emma Scott
Sidonia Weiss
Grace E. White
Sarah Campbell Allan
Edith V. Anderson
Elizabeth Beharrell
Marie Chard
Jane Downes Kelly
Alice Littell
Martha E. Lowell
Henrietta M. Farquharson
Julia Grice
Mabel L. Haninton
Mary W. Marvell
Hannah G. Myrick
Harriet D.W. Showers
Mary Frances Sweet
Maud Emily Taft
Jean Isabel Best
Helen N. Binford
Sarah Allen Castle
Annie L. Conner
Susan Rogers Corson
Eliza Dadmun
Florence West Duckering
Caroline S. Finley
Gertrude Felker
Lenore Hamilton Gageby
Maude Glasgow
Ella A. Hackett
Helen Robertson Howe
Louise H. Keator
Isabella Cloe Little
Bella Lysaught
Elizabeth Moore
Ellen O'Flaherty
Susanna Otis
Margaret Parks
Eleanor Preston
Alice H. Purvis
Belle A. Schisler
Martha Smith
Jane Beck Smith
Charlotte Steckel
Carolotta M. Swett
Stella M. Turner
Rose Mary Blakelidge
Blanche M. Dennes
Adele Russell Emerson
Rebecca M. Evans
Phoebe Ferris
Mary E. Gill
Florence Gilman
Minerva Goodman
Cora E. Harriman
Eleanor J. Hill
Ruth Peabody Hume
Marion H. Hunsicker
Elizabeth Jaeger
Mabel V. Kennard
Elizabeth McMaster
Martha Marlatt
Velma E. Powell
M. Catherine Schroeder
Cynthia Steers
Alice Weld Tallant
Susan B. Tallman
Isabelle M. Thomson
Jeannette C. Welch
Jessie Wheeler
Anna Bowden White
Isabelle Smith Wood
Mary Brooks Baird
Annie R. Baker
Blanche C. Boyle
Marjorie Burnham
Mary S. Crosswell
Genevieve Gustin
Sophie G. Laws
Josephine A. Line
Eleanor F. Lucas
Esther Mitchell
Mary E. Morse
Margaret L. Noyes
Sarah Gardner
Genevieve Pierson
Olive W. Rae
Catherine H. Travis
Stella L. Wilkinson
Julia R. Youngman
Helen P. Beattie
Maria Washburn Bliss
Helen Elizabeth Brooks
Rebecca Clark
Sarah E. Finch
Julia Hardin
Gertrude M. Hastings
Sue L. Koons
Katherine H. Law
Elsie P. Miller
Stella L. Mullin
Elsie Seelye Pratt
Victoria Reid
Mary L. Rosenteil
F. Matina Tanquary
Edna M. Thomas
Louisa C. Zimmerman
Elizabeth Bagshaw
Nellie Baker
Alice May Ballou
Alice H. Bigelow
May B. Calloghan
Zella M. Clark
Marguerite S. Crockett
Rose Cohen
Edith M. Conser
Harriet Davies
M. Ellen Douglas
Mary Robins Findlater
Agavine Gilbakian
Sarah Mabel Grier
Miriam E. Griffin
Edith Hale
Jessie Hattendarf
Harriet A. Hook
Edith C. Kline
Li Bi Cu
L. Mae Lichtenwalner
Edith Loeber
Agnes Mikkelsen
Abbie M. O'Keefe
Katherine P. Raymond
Hanna E. Reid
Katharine B. Scott
Maude S. Slocumb
Alice W. Smith
Myrtle Smith
Alice Steffian
Maude W. Taylor
Frances P. Waugh
Vivia B. Appleton
Alice Baxter
Inez A. Bentley
Phoebe M. Bogart
Anna M. Cooke
Norma B. Elles
Miriam Gardner
Helen W. Ham
Josephine D. Hunt
Henriette Johnson
Laura M. Johnson
Bessie B. Little
Melissa Manderson
Mary T. Martin
Louise Morrow
Agnes G. Murdoch
Elizabeth Y. Myres
Maud A. Powell
Katherine Stull
Editha E.Taylor
Lily Ethel Taylor
Anna Weld
Hagar Wishart
Miriam Yampolsky
Elizabeth B. Ball
Elizabeth E. Bowen
Florence A. Bullen
Margaret C. Calder
M. Blanche Campbell
Gladys L. Carr
Martha Crofut
Susan W. Field
H. Amanda Johnson
Marion Eleanor Leeper
Saidie B. Lindberg
Florence L. McKay
Maud L. Menten
Ida B. Orecchia
Grace Peele
Mehitable C. Proctor
Lucy A. Reed
Clara Seippel
Pearl J. Sproule
Geneva Tryon
Letitia D. Adams
Lily F. Boyington
Gladys Cooper
Desire M. Dunn
Lulu Lee
Angeline M. Lemon
Marion C. Littlefield
Frances R. Ritchie
Ellen M. Rowe
Sara L. Smalley
Elizabeth Sohon
Emily S. Stark
Bessie L. Sweet
Ada H. Tedford
Anna J. Waite
Annie Wood
Eulalie Wood
Elizabeth M. Abbe
Marion E. Blackman
Nellie M. Cole
Alice M. Flood
Ellen M. Johnosn
Florence A. King
Cora I. Kipp
Ida R. Lantz
Rosamond Leacock
Sadie A. Mulvanity
Anna I. Murphy
Emily M. Oberlin
Marie Seixas
Mary Shutan
Jennie Smillie
Estelle Smith
Edith R. Spaulding
Sara E. Swezey
Mary M. Wheeler
Evelyn Windsor
Mary E. Brogan
Isabel Bogan
Ethel L. Boren
Olga Bridgman,
Mary P. Brooke
Caroline S. Brown
Elizabeth Bruyn
Mary E. Burns
Electa W. Carrier
Elizabeth D. Carroll
Edna V. Dale
Anna K. Davenport
Grace DeWitt
Jessie A. Dow
Mary B. Fimpel
Edna W. Guest
Myrtle Jack
Margaret A. Judge
Ruth M. Lance
Christina M. Leonard
Jessie McDonald
Helen O'S. McGarry
Esther K. Payne
Bessie T. Pullan
Jettie J. Resnick
Mary I. Roberts
Eleanor Slater
Lucia Willard
Louise Auerbach
Leontine E. Bacon
Jean Christie
M. Blanche Cooney
Sarah E. Coppinger
Ruth J. Crasson
Rose Donk
Susie L. Fotheringham
Emilie C. Gorrell
Audrey Goss
Mary A. Hopkins
Nancy B. Jenison
Gertrude Johnson
Marion M. Kershaw
Bella Levinson
Portia McKnight
Jessie Robertson
Susan A. Rutkus
Frances Shostac
Leota Spurgeon
Elizabeth Stewart
Goldie E. Zimmerman
Jane Bigelow
Florence Chadwick
Mary C. Couch
Annie R. Elliot
Kate H. Elting
Maude L. Etheridge
Lucie G. Forrer
Hattie Greenblatt
Ethel Hayes
Irma Howard
Anna Hubert
Edith A. McDowell
Cordelia I. MacNaughton
Bernadette M. McWeeney
Geraldine Oakley
Olive Pippy
Alma Read
Margaretta R. Rieger
Theresa C. Snyder
Vernie E. Woodward
Emma M. Ackerman
Hazel Bonness
Ellen C. Cover
Helen G. Craige
Erminie S. Cryder
Georgia A. Filley
Margaret V. Grogan
Marie B. Kast
Marian Kenworthy
Ray B. LaCroix
Eveline Lyle
Bernadette McWeen
Mary T.V. Moore
Beatrice Alma Reed
Bonnell M. Souder
Olga Stastny
Marie C. Strom
Blanche L. Atwood
Kate B. Bogle
Myrtle M. Brill
Irene Chandler
Clara G. Cook
Lora G. Dyer
Evelyn P. Hyatt
Ruth Ingraham
Jennie McIntosh
Minnie L. Maffett
Ina L. Moore
Katharine A. Nye
Clara A. Sargent
Clara Shellmanner
Mildred C. Williams
Frances P. Cepelka
Lucy McM. Elliott
Clara Gottschalk
Mary Hanka
Faith F. Hardy
Evelyn H. Hunt
Grace A. Joslin
Elizabeth Kilpatrick
Mollie King
Hie-ding Lin
Clara C. Leach
Eliza A. Melkonia
Mary F. Mernin
Mary T. Muldoon
Agnes Muldoon
Kathalyn Voorhis
Ruth A. Warner
Hannah J. Beatty
Jane R. Breese
Lona Bulyea
Anna Q. Churchill
Margaret W. Farwell
Henrietta S. Frederichson
Martha Gifford
Ethel R. Kathleen Harrington
Sarah R. Kelman
Ruth M. McGuire
Helen A. Moore
Bessie N. Newcomb
Elizabeth V. O'Neill
Mildred J. Roberts
Bertha M Schafer
Fanny E. Shutts
Lillian R. Smith
Grace Spencer
Hildegarde C. German
Virgil Martha Gilchrist
Anna L. Hooper
Alice C. Scully
Anna P. Walsh
Frederica Cliff
Annie B. Chung
Anna B. Grey
Ethel A. Gwin
Ruth V. Hemenway
Edith Kerkhoff
Ruth Leonard
Ruth Patrick
Mary G. Schroeder
Margery M. Stauffer
Margaret Bell
Lillina Bendeke-Parson
Eleanore Glebow
Dorothy Grey
Mary E. Hanko
Margaret Howard
1921Josephine L. Kaye
Ruth L. King
Ruth M. Mahon
Adeline Muelchi
Margaret W. Pirsch
Florence M. Ross
Helen W. Spencer
Rita B. Tower
Marjorie Woodman
Rena M. Bigalow
Zilpha Galloway
Elizabeth L. Broyles
Tsing Liea Li
Christine MacLeod
Gertrude C. Nicolson
Ethel B. Perry
Jennie B. Rozell
Ruth Sin-Ging Ho
Hanna C. Johnson
Mary F. Knott
Georgia Krusich
Caroline McMath
Sarah Margaret Peyton
Grace M. Santoro
Anne Tarshis
Mildred J. Buzza
Louise de Schweinitz
Ruth E. Hull
Frances M. Johnson
Mildred N. Johnson
Lillian Kositza
Margaret M. Loder
Charlotte McCarthy
Austis P. Manton
Laura H. Muir
Isabel B. Turner
Helen M. Weistling
Lillian deArmit
Jennie D. Hippolitus
Esther Mathers
Fatima V. Reshid
Margaret Robertson
Esther Somerfield
Esther Tuttle
Wilma Weeks
Miriam A. Albertson
Felicia A. Banes
Veronica C. Barrett
Isabella F. Borden
Ethel T. Calhoun
Eleanor E. Cowan
Susannah Friedman
Rachel Goldberg
Faith L. Meserve
Rose C. Munro
Edith E. Pasmore
Hilla Sheriff
Margaret A. Telfer
Helen B. Tursky
Anna M. Young

Processing Information

Processed by Susan Boone, 2001.

New England Hospital for Women and Children records
Finding Aid
Susan Boone
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss55 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:22-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-04-19: Made single paper FA pencil edit change.
  • 2022-03-04: Integrated description of oversized materials

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063