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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 193

Papers of Blanche Ames, 1860-1961


Correspondence, minutes, annual reports, etc., of Blanche Ames, artist and suffragist.


  • Creation: 1860-1961


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research, with the exception of folders 27-32, which are closed, use microfilm (M-71).

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Blanche Ames as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


3.13 linear feet ((7 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 1 supersize item, 1 oversize folder, one reel microfilm, one oversize volume)

Materials on suffrage in Massachusetts in the early 1900s and on birth control in Massachusetts in the 1940s comprise part of this collection. The largest portion, however, concerns the New England Hospital (formerly the New England Hospital for Women and Children) in the 1950s.

The chartered purposes of the New England Hospital were: 1) to provide medical care for women and children by women physicians, 2) to assist in the medical education of women physicians and 3) to train nurses. These purposes were threatened in the early 1950s when the Nurses Training School was closed, and when a controversy arose with United Community Services of Metropolitan Boston over various issues and especially over the question of hiring male physicians. The Hospital, already in financial straits, faced a loss of United Community Services funds. Blanche Ames compiled the records of the United Community Services/New England Hospital controversy, available here both in their original form and on microfilm. During the controversy, Blanche Ames and other members of the Board of Directors hoped to improve the Hospital's finances and to adhere to the chartered purposes--primarily by reopening the Nurses Training School and by continuing to hire only women physicians. Their efforts included an initiation of new fund-raising activities and a re-examination of bequests to the Hospital. Many wills and other documents, mainly from the 1880's to 1920, can therefore be found in this collection.


Blanche Ames was an artist; a suffragist active in the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association and the League of Women Voters; co-founder and a president of the Massachusetts Birth Control League; founder of the Family Welfare Foundation; and a president and member of the Board of Directors of the New England Hospital, Boston.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 1663, 72-72, 78-M17

The papers of Blanche Ames were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in 1961 by Blanche Ames and in 1972 and 1978 by Pauline Ames Plimpton.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library. See also Blanche Ames Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1913-1940 (WRC 5-7a).


  1. Box 1: 1-14
  2. Box 2: 15-24
  3. Box 2a: 24a-24h
  4. Box 3: 25-34
  5. Box 4: 35-43
  6. Box 5: 44-49
  7. Box 6: 50-60
  8. Box 7: 61-68
  9. Box 8: 69-80

Processing Information

Processed: January, 1974

By: LH

Ames, Blanche. Papers of Blanche Ames, 1860-1961: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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