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BWH Collection Scope and Content

Scope of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Archives

The archives were assembled from the records of all the individual hospitals that eventually merged to become the institution known today as the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The material in the collection spans 150 years of hospital history, and includes historic photographs, annual reports, administrative correspondence, building specifications, artifacts and memorabilia, training program and fund raising records, and serial and stand-alone publications. Except for a few photographs, the records do not include patient or research records.

The archival collection is organized and described in seven major groups. Each record group is named for the originating hospital.

Start Your Research with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Archives Here

The physical content of the Archives is described in the collection guides below. Look through them to target items in the box and folder lists that may be relevant to your research. Then schedule an appointment to have a hands-on look at the items which are held at the Center for the History of Medicine in the Countway Library at 10 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA.

The digitized content of the Archives is only a small fraction of the physical content, however those items which have been digitized are some of the most useful for researching people and events in BWH history. Find below links to our online resources including complete collections of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (1913–1979), the Boston Lying-in Hospital (1833, 1875–1965), and the Free Hospital for Women (1875–1965) Annual Reports; the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Journal (1920–1946); and hospital newsletters from 1943 through 1999. All are keyword searchable. Find also links to a digitized version of the historic Free Hospital for Women Scrapbook containing clippings, notes, and photographs from 1879 through 1952, as well as links to other historically important hospital related manuscripts.

Links to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Archives Collection Guides [Finding Aids].

Online Resources for Hospital History

Cover PBBH Annual Report

Annual Reports

Peter Bent Brigham Hospital Annual Reports, 1913–1979


The Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing, A History 1912–1985
by Marilyn King

Annual Reports

Free Hospital for Women Annual Reports, 1875—1965


The Fabrick of Man, Fifty Years of the Peter Bent Brigham 1913–1963
by David McCord

Hospital Newsletters, 1943–1977


History of the Free Hospital for Women 1875–1975
by Elmer Osgood Cappers

Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing Journals, 1920–1946

The Alumnae Journal, 1920–1946

Safe Deliverance


Safe Deliverance
by Frederick C. Irving, M.D.
(A history of the Boston Lying-in Hospital published in 1942)

Photographs and Clippings

Free Hospital for Women Scrapbook, 1879—1952


History of the Robert Breck Brigham Hospital for Incurables
by Matthew H. Liang, MD


A Quarter of a Century with the Free Hospital for Women

A small picture book about the hospital, published in 1900.


Peter Bent Brigham Hospital “Bible,” 1940.

Routine Practices, Medical Service of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, 1940

Written by 2nd Physician-in-Chief, Soma Weiss, as a guide to aid students, residents, and interns.

Staff Diary, 1912.
Peter Bent Brigham Hospital

1912 Travels of the Medical Staff, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital

Notes made by the first staffdoctors during a trip to investigate European medical practice.

"Bathing Babies" from BLIH Annual Report 1907.

Annual Reports

Boston Lying-in Hospital, 1833, 1875–1965

Annual Reports

Boston Hospital for Women, 1966–1976