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Bingham Associates Fund Records

Call Number: MS228

Scope and Contents

This collection contains publications, meeting minutes, and administrative files of the Bingham Associates Fund, as well as the Bingham Advisory Committee. Physician files, annual reports, and correspondence, as well as information about regional medical programs, are also included. The physical collection documentation folder of this collection includes copies of Dave Nathan’s original finding aid entries as well as copies of the original acquisition records.

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, many items are fragile, and must be handled carefully.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1932 -- 1985
  • Creation: 1900 -- 1990


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

The Bingham Associates Fund (BAF), sometimes known as the Bingham Associates Program, was one of the earliest regional medical programs in the nation. It was founded in 1932 by the financial backing of William Bingham II (1879-1955), a patient of Dr. Joseph Pratt. It was established to assist in the development of rural health care in the state of Maine. Medical staff from the New England Medical Center and students from the Tufts College School of Medicine were sent to Maine, courtesy of this program.

The mission of the BAF was to provide medical care to the people of Maine by providing them access to physicians normally working in Boston, nearly 200 miles south. After several conversations between William Bingham and Dr. George Farnsworth, Bingham agreed to finance the project. It was established as a non-profit organization with Dr. Pratt, Farnsworth, and Dr. John Gehring comprising the first Board of Trustees. The Fund provided Dr. Pratt with a grant of $1000 to send physicians to Rumford, Maine to give monthly clinics on medical techniques to local doctors. It went on to build laboratories and provide pathologists to hospitals throughout the state.

The Bingham Fund also sponsored the diagnostic ward at the Boston Dispensary, as well as a joint program with the Tufts College School of Medicine. The BAF was thus centered around Tufts University and the newly established New England Medical Center.

After the alliance of New England Center Hospitals, Inc. and the Tufts University School of Medicine, officially incorporated as Tufts-New England Medical Center in 1965, BAF assets were absorbed into the corporation. In 1974 the BAF dissolved, with an understanding that their funds be retained in the Bingham Fund Endowment. Residents from Maine comprised the Bingham Advisory Council, which dictated the use of the endowment income to the T-NEMC Board.


7.2 Linear Feet


This collection is organized into 4 series: Subject files; Publications; Minutes; and Legacy collection documentation.

Custodial History

This collection was originally part of the archives of the New England Medical Center (NEMC), which closed in 1990. The collection was processed by Dave Nathan, archivist at the NEMC archives, in July 1989, and had the following NEMC acquisition number: 85-38.

In spring 2013, NEMC material was transferred from NEMC to a restoration company for conservation treatment, and was then transferred to off-site storage in custody of Digital Collections and Archives (DCA). In December 2014 and January 2015, the material was transferred to DCA for processing. Some material originally in the NEMC archives was not transferred to DCA, due to either poor condition or loss.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in September 2015 by Elizabeth Mc Gorty, Project Archivist, under the supervision of Adrienne Pruitt, Collections Management Archivist.

This collection was previously processed by Dave Nathan. On transfer to DCA, received order was maintained at the series level. Folders were re-arranged in alphabetical or chronological order, and some material was rehoused in archival folders. Collection and series description written by Dave Nathan was updated. Not all material listed in Dave Nathan's Guide to the NEMC Archives was transferred to DCA. Missing items have been noted at the series level.

Processing status

This collection is processed and open for research

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States