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COLLECTION Identifier: BWH c2

Affiliated Hospitals Center records


The Affiliated Hospitals Center (Boston, Mass.) Records, 1966–1984, are the product of the joint venture (for merger) members and the combined hospitals staff’s administrative, fund-raising, publication, and public relations activities from 1966 through 1980 when Affiliated Hospitals Center was renamed Brigham and Women’s Hospital. A few items in the collection post-date 1980.


  • 1966–1984.


Language of Materials

Records are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. 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 Access to unpublished administrative records is restricted for 50 years from creation date.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:

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to the Director of Brigham and Women’s Hospital Medical Library. (email: 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 copyright.


10 cubic feet (5 record cartons and 6 oversize flat storage boxes)

The Affiliated Hospitals Center (Boston, Mass.) Records, 1966–1984, include annual reports, committee records and correspondence, fund-raising campaign records, press releases, publications, and photographs generated by the staffs of the Peter Bent Brigham, Robert B. Brigham, and Boston Hospital for Women divisions of Affiliated Hospitals Center, Inc., as well as some Affiliated Hospitals Center joint venture pre-merger records pertaining to merger planning. The time period covered is 1966–1984, with the bulk of the records created in the 1970s. Many of the photographs chronicle the construction of the new hospital facility opened in 1980, and other construction related events. The records also include 19 scrapbooks filled with newspaper and journal clippings about the different Affiliated Hospitals Center divisions. Although the Affiliated Hospitals Center as a legal record keeping entity ended in 1980, some scrapbooks include items dated after 1980. The records do not include patient, student, or research records.

Historical Notes

A charitable corporation, known as the Affiliated Hospitals Center, Incorporated, was established in 1962 for the purpose of exploring the “consolidation of the facilities of several of the Harvard affiliated teaching hospitals in the Longwood Avenue area; namely, the Boston Lying-in Hospital, the Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Free Hospital for Women, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, the Robert B. Brigham, and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospitals.” This corporation formally replaced the multi-hospital Planning Committee established in the spring of 1960 which in turn had developed from an ad hoc hospital planning committee that began work in 1958 at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. The ad hoc committee was originally charged with solving some of the PBBH’s financial problems by identifying ways to share the costs of nursing education and laundry management among hospitals in the area. Informal discussions revealed an interest in cooperation on a broader basis to improve patient care among neighboring institutions.

By 1961 plans had been formed to combine the facilities of the separate institutions and construct a new hospital complex. Credit is given to Dean George Packer Berry of the Harvard Medical School for conceiving and initiating the combining of the six hospitals into one. By the time of the establishment of the aforementioned Affiliated Hospitals Center, Incorporated, the word “complex” had become verbal shorthand for the hospitals’ ambitions towards consolidation.

Dr. Robert J. Glaser assumed the full-time presidency of the Affiliated Hospitals Center on July 1, 1963. In 1964 Bertrand Goldberg Associates was selected to create preliminary designs for the new facilities. By 1965, problems involving land acquisition, financing, the negotiations over the ultimate autonomy and identity of the contributing hospitals, and the departure of Dr. Glaser began to slow progress towards the realization of consolidation plans.

On February 14, 1967 a working agreement called “A Plan for a Medical Center” was put together by the Robert B. Brigham, the Peter Bent Brigham, and the newly formed Boston Hospital for Women (the result of a merger between the Boston Lying-in and the Free Hospital for Women in 1966). The three hospitals formally resolved to support the plan for union without waiting for the other potential partners. This was followed by a centralization of power under a new Joint Venture Agreement giving the presidents of the participating hospitals and the Affiliated Hospitals Center president (F. Stanton Deland) authority to proceed with the creation of the new medical center “as fast as possible.”

Although expectations were for joint operations and a completed facility by 1974, many setbacks delayed progress over the next several years. The escalation of building costs raised the project budget from the estimated 50 million dollars to 80 million. Political regimes changed and the expected amounts from government grants fell precipitously. Harvard University was no longer able to make land available for the construction. Regulatory authorities were slow with the necessary approvals due to community protest, chiefly regarding the dislocation of tenants in the construction area and the potential environmental impact of Harvard’s proposed power plant (Medical Area Total Energy Plant, or MATEP) designed to supply energy to the Affiliated Hospitals Center and nearby hospitals.

In spite of the delays, the three hospitals moved forward with plans for amalgamation. On January 1, 1975 the Peter Bent Brigham, the Robert B. Brigham, and the Boston Hospital for Women formally merged into the Affiliated Hospitals Center, Inc., “legally, finally, and irrevocably.” Each hospital then operated as a division of the Affiliated Hospitals Center. Groundbreaking for the long-planned-for facility happened on December 20, 1975. From then until 1980, as the new hospital tower rose and parts of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital were re-purposed, the staffs, departments, and operations of the three divisions evolved into a single unit operating under new by-laws. Patients were relocated from the former facilities into the new facilities beginning on July 9, 1980, and the obstetrical services and nurseries were moved to the tower at the end of February in 1981.

Twenty years after conception, the unified institution was finally complete with the adoption of the new name “Brigham and Women’s Hospital” in May of 1980. It was officially dedicated in November that same year. “The name Affiliated Hospitals Center, Inc., ceased to exist legally on September 30, 1980.”

Series and Subseries in the Collection

  1. Series I. Program Establishment, Development, and Review Records, 1966–1979
  2. Series II. Committee Records, 1976–1980
  3. Series III. External Program Relations Records, 1980
  4. Series IV. Fund-raising Program Administration Records,1969–1981.
  5. Series V. Special Events Records, 1976
  6. Series VI. Public Relations Records, 1967–1980
  7. ___ Subseries A. Press Releases, 1969–1980
  8. ___ Subseries B. Clippings, 1967–1969
  9. Series VII. Publications, 1975–1980
  10. ___ Subseries A. AHC Report, 1978–1980
  11. ____Subseries B. Inside AHC, 1978–1980
  12. ___ Subseries C. AHC News, 1979–1980
  13. ___ Subseries D. Other Publications, 1975
  14. Series VIII. Visual Records, 1969–1980
  15. ___ Subseries A. Photographs and Notes, 1969–1980
  16. ___ Subseries B. Slides, 1975–1980
  17. Series IX. Memorabilia, 1978–1984

Custodial History

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Records of the Affiliated Hospitals Center 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:

  1. Accession number 2007–004 was transferred from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Medical Library to the Harvard Medical Library in 2006.
  2. Accession number 2008–041 was transferred from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Medical Library to the Harvard Medical Library in 2007.


  • Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. Annual report of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital for the years ... Boston: 1959–1976.
  • Affiliated Hospitals Center (Boston, Mass.). Annual reports / Affiliated Hospitals Center. Boston: 1977–1979.
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Annual reports / Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Boston: 1980.

Processing Information

Gabriela Burgman created a preliminary box and folder list in 2005. Unprocessed parts of this collection and new acquisitions were processed and this finding aid was written by Catherine Pate at the Center for the History of Medicine. It was published in 2010. A revised version was published in 2016.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine started processing the archival records of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital under a service agreement with the BWH in 2001. 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 Affiliated Hospitals Center (Boston, Mass.) 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 to improve access. Duplicate records and records that did not meet the archival collection goals of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Medical Library were discarded.

Affiliated Hospitals Center (Boston, Mass.). Records, 1966–1984: Finding Aid.
Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository

The Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine is one of the world's leading resources for the study of the history of health and medicine. Our mission is to enable the history of medicine and public health to inform healthcare, the health sciences, and the societies in which they are embedded.

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