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Boston Dispensary Records

Call Number: MS214
Scope and Contents

This collection contains adminstrative records, annual reports, meeting minutes, policy and procedure manuals, financial records, scrapbooks, employee records, publications, and promotional materials relating to the Boston Dispensary (BD).

As there was a periodic shifting of departments to and from NEMC/T-NEMC and their constituent institutions, any comprehensive search of a particular topic over time must involve also consulting the other NEMC archives collections at TARC. Contact TARC for information about associated material of this collection.

This collection suffered extensive water damage due to a flood before it was in the custody of DCA. It underwent conservation efforts before processing, but several materials, particularly folders, scrapbooks, and bound volumes, are still warped or retain a musty odor. In addition, much of the material is in fragile condition, and must be handled carefully.

Language of Materials



This collection is open for research. Personnel records in series 16 are restricted for 75 years from the date of creation.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish.Any intellectual property rights that the donor possesses have not been transferred to Tufts University.


This collection is organized into 17 series: Legacy collection documentation folder; Charlestown Free Dispensary records; Tyler Street Nursery records; Administrative and governance records; Publications and historical materials; Financial records; Employment records; X-Ray department records; United Services Committee correspondence; Clinical correspondence, agreements, and contracts; Massachusetts Department of Public Health records; Board of Trustees records; Superintendent records; Treasurer records; District Physician records; Apothecary records; and Memorabilia and miscellaneous.

The last six series contain records that were held at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine until 2016. Countway's series arrangement has been maintained.

Related Materials

MS099, New England Medical Center records, DCA.

Dave Nathan transferred images to the Visual Materials collection at the New England Medical Center archives in 1989 -- and Boston Dispensary photographs are now located in the Photographs and audiovisual materials series of the New England Medical Center records (MS099.001). Other BD records may also be found in MS099, as noted above.

MS213, Boston Floating Hospital records, DCA

MS222, Pratt Clinic/New England Center Hospital records, DCA

MS224, Tufts-New England Medical Center records, DCA

MS221, Samuel Proger papers, DCA

Creation: Majority of material found within 1910 -- 1965
Creation: 1795 -- 1990
37.4 Linear Feet (26 boxes)
1 Artifact(s)
1 Digital Object(s)
Related Names
Boston Floating Hospital
Pratt Clinic/New England Center Hospital
Boston Dispensary
School of Medicine
Tufts-New England Medical Center
Tufts Medical Center
Language of Materials