Massachusetts General Hospital
Archives and Special Collections
Boston, Massachusetts 02114
The Massachusetts General Hospital Archives and Special Collections is open to the MGH community and to qualified scholars from the general public by appointment. Most collections are stored off-site; advanced notice is necessary. The Archivist helps researchers get oriented to the use of historical resources on site in the archives reading room, serves the information needs of the hospital administration, and provides a limited amount of research and reference service to the general public.
The archives staff can make a limited number of photocopies of non-restricted materials (for a fee) upon request. Reproduction of photographs can be also arranged (for a fee). Such copying and reproductions are made at the discretion of the Archivist, who will consider the physical condition of materials as well as issues related to patient privacy. Interlibrary loans and microfilming are not available.
Historical medical and surgical records are permanently restricted, but can be used for aggregate (not biographical) research under carefully controlled conditions designed to protect the privacy of individual patients, both living and dead. Researchers wanting access to historical patient records must submit a description of their proposed project to the Archivist, who will forward it to the Institutional Review Board, which will grant or deny the request. Non-medical official records are restricted for 50 years from date of creation. Ask the Archivist for further information.
Medical and surgical records, 1821 to 1903 (950 volumes); Historical photographs, 1847 to present (ca. 5000 images); General biographical files, 1821 to present (24 cubic feet); General subject files, 1821 to present (14 cubic feet); Archival collections from departments, offices, committees, etc. (ca, 400 cubic feet); Manuscripts collections created by individuals (15 cubic feet); Historical medical and surgical equipment, instruments, and other artifacts (ca. 2000); Paintings (ca. 150); Reference books (ca. 250 volumes).