Tufts New England Medical Center Planning Office Records, 1870 -- 1985


Title: Tufts New England Medical Center Planning Office Records
Dates: 1870 -- 1985
Bulk Dates: 1950 -- 1970
Creator: Tufts Medical Center
Call Number: UA014
Size: 29.64 Cubic Feet, 30 boxes, 2 oversized folders., 469 Digital Object(s)
Language(s): English  
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10427/14606
    Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University


The collection includes administrative files and records, grant applications and proposals, reports, studies, surveys, architectural plans, contracts, meeting and conference agendas and minutes, correspondence, publications, theses, sound recordings, and visual materials, such as transparencies and photographs, from the Tufts New England Medical Center Planning Office.


This collection is organized in six series: Loose photographs; Correspondence; Audio-visual; Publications; Oversized; and Subject files.


The New England Medical Center (NEMC) is the principal teaching hospital for Tuft's School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine. The Medical Center's chiefs of service are joint appointees with the medical school and most serve as chairs of their respective departments at the medical school. Students take 25% of their required third year clerkships and 50% of their fourth year electives at NEMC.

Recognizing that education and research are essential components to good medical care, the New England Medical Center was established in 1930 through the alliance of the Boston Dispensary, the Boston Floating Hospital for Infants and Children, and the Trustees of Tufts College. The NEMC was established as a non-profit corporation to coordinate the administrative activities of its constituent organizations. In 1946 the Joseph H. Pratt Diagnostic Hospital, an extension of the Boston Dispensary established in 1938, joined NEMC. In 1950, when the Medical School and Dental School relocated to Harrison Avenue, and the NEMC became known as the New England Medical Center Hospital.

The entity was renamed Tufts-New England Medical Center in 1968, and in 1970 the NEMC board met at the Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth, Massachusetts to outline ways the NEMC and Tufts could further coordinate operations. The resulting directives, known as the Coonamessett Statement, indicated that support services and other business functions should be made the responsibility of T-NEMC in each case where it made sense to do so. That same year Tufts President Hallowell and NEMC President Quarles signed an affiliation agreement that codified the T-NEMC as an alliance through which its constituent units would move toward a completely integrated operation. By 1976, T-NEMC controlled health care studies, medical engineering, community health and ambulatory care, employee-student health services, lab animal medicine, some research, off-site medical services, a common utility supply center, architectural services, communications, educational media, parking facilities, property ownership, and public relations. However, by the late 1970s both institutions had experienced a change in leadership, resulting in a change of priorities for each. Interest in integration waned and the cooperation forged in the early 1970s was dismantled.

After a period of tension and competition in the 1980s, Tufts and NEMC drafted a new affiliation agreement in 1991, which remains in effect as of 1999. In 2000, the center was once again named Tufts-New England Medical Center, or T-NEMC.

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

University records are closed for 20 years from the date of their creation. Records older than 20 years that do not pertain to student education, staff and faculty employment and Board of Trustees records are open for research.

Use Restrictions

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. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Collection History

Processing Notes

This collection is processed.

Custodial History

The records of the T-NEMC Planning Office were "divided between the Archives of New England Medical Center, which has approximately 27 feet, and the archives of Tufts University in Medford, which has approximately 20 feet. These are not distinct segments; they are a single unit that has been arbitrarily divided." Along the way the original order of the collection was lost, and many files appear to have been re-foldered and some labeled incorrectly.

The collection at Tufts contains a list of the NEMC portion (UA014.001 11:003), as well as a 1979 letter from Herman H. Field, director of the Planning Office, to the Wessell Archives (currently the Tufts Archives) outlining his ideas for the "Possible Organization of Tufts N.E. Medical Center Planning office Archives." (UA014.001 11:003). Originally, the files appear to have been organized by color, as is apparent by the multi-color labels which still exist on the original folders. The collection contains a copy of the Planning Office's "File Organization Color Guide" and "File Organization Filing Guide" (UA014.001 11:003) which explain the original systems in place. However, the colors have faded and many files were re-foldered prior to the collection arriving at Tufts, therefore the original arrangement could not and was not maintained.

An accurate box list, entitled "15 boxes of files and bound materials" exists which outlines the contents of the 16 boxes which were received by Tufts Archives prior to processing.

Series Description

  1. Loose photographs, 1870 -- 1976

    This series contains images of the South Cove area of Boston before and during construction of the Tufts New England Medical Center.

  2. Correspondence, 1960 -- 1973

    This series contains letters between Herman H. Fields or the Planning Office and various individuals and companies regarding the development of T-NEMC and the Planning Office. Also included are personal letters between Herman H. Fields, colleagues, and the office, including family trip itineraries.

  3. Audiovisual materials, 1960 -- 1985

    The Audiovisual series contains visual materials and Audograph (sound) discs, created for and by the Planning Office. Sound recordings include committee, office, and business meetings conducted by Herman H. Fields. They are recorded on Audograh discs, which are pliable blue plastic flat discs recorded from the center out and re-played on dictation machines used to record them. At this time, Tufts does not have the technology required to play these discs.

    Visual material including transparencies, photographs, and maps, generally depict architectural models and plans of T-NEMC.

  4. Publications, 1940 -- 1981

    The Publication series includes annual reports, journals, plans, proposals and other miscellaneous bound volumes published for or by the T-NEMC Planning Office. Also included are articles written by Herman H. Fields, and clippings, pamphlets and articles pertaining to T-NEMC.

  5. Oversize

    The Oversize series includes five oversize plans that were moved from the subject files series to be stored in the map case. Cross-references were put into the original folders to alert users to the new location.

  6. Subject files, 1932 -- 1980

    This series contains administrative records, reports and documentation, including some correspondence and visual materials, created by the T-NEMC Planning Office relating to the development of the Medical Center and its surrounding area. Includes agendas and minutes from the meetings of various committees. Architectural records include plans, studies and proposals and other documents. Also included are documents regarding T-NEMC's involvement with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the Quincy School Project (QSP) and the renewal of South Cove and Chinatown. Additionally, this series contains administrative files pertaining to T-NEMC units, such as pediatric and dental care.

View Online Materials

Some of the materials from this collection are available online. Not all materials have necessarily been digitized.