Hospital Archives Policies and Regulations

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Access to archival materials

Records of the Board of Trustees:Includes records of its standing committees. Restricted.

Departmental records: Open for research 20 years from their date of creation.

Manuscript collections: Access to manuscript collections varies according to the donor's wishes.

Patient and Official Medical Records: The Archives does not handle patient or physician requests for medical records; contact Medical Records at 617-355-7546.

Using the Archives

Research Appointments

The Archives is primarily for use by the Children's community, but it is also open for use by the general public. Please schedule an appointment at least one week before visiting by submitting a "Research Appointment Application." Researchers are required to observe the rules and regulations of the Boston Children's Hospital Archives. Please review the information below before visiting.


All researchers will be asked to:

  • Complete a "Research Appointment Application"
  • Provide photographic identification (such as a hospital ID, valid driver's license, or passport) at the time of registration
  • Check all personal belongings, such as briefcases, book bags and coats with the Hospital Archivist.

Only materials for research may be taken into the Hospital Archives research space.

Materials Provided to Researchers

Researchers are responsible for safeguarding material made available to them. Researchers may not remove materials from the Boston Children's Hospital Archives research space or rearrange their order. If materials appear to be out of order or missing, the researcher should promptly notify the hospital archivist.

Use of Materials

Materials from collections may not be leaned on, written on, folded, traced from, or handled in any way likely to damage them.


Researchers may use pencils or laptop computers for note taking. To safeguard collections, pens or scanners may not be used.

Eating and Drinking

Eating and drinking are not permitted in the Archives or the Hospital Library.

Recommended Citation

For citations in published and unpublished papers, this repository should be cited as Boston Children's Hospital Archives, Boston, Massachusetts. The following examples show the suggested format for referring to archival and manuscript collections:

  • Archival citation: Boston Children's Hospital Development and Public Affairs Office Records. (AC 1)
    Boston Children's Hospital Archives, Boston, Massachusetts. Box 1, folder 25.
  • Manuscript citation: Adeline Blanchard Tyler Papers. (MC 1)
    Boston Children's Hospital Archives , Boston, Massachusetts. Box 3, folder 5.

The archivist will provide bibliographic information for archival and manuscript collections that have not been fully processed.

Copyright policies

Copies of materials in the Boston Children's Hospital Archives are provided as a service to expedite research and lessen wear on documents. Copies are made solely for the personal use of the individual requesting them. They may not be transferred to another individual or organization, deposited at another institution, or reduplicated without prior written permission of the Boston Children's Hospital Archives. All researchers must sign the "Photoduplication Request Form" at the time of request.

Duplication by the Archives in no way transfers either copyright or property right, nor does it constitute permission to publish or display materials. In some cases the Boston Children's Hospital Archives may refuse to make copies because of the physical condition of the material, the amount of time required to do the work, special restrictions imposed by the donor, copyright law or right to- privacy statutes.


Publication of archival materials

Boston Children's Hospital Archives will consider requests for reproduction of photographs and other materials when it can be done without injury to the material and does not violate copyright restrictions. Reproductions of photographs will be done through the hospital's Multi-Media Services Department. The researcher will be responsible for the payment of any fees involved. In rare instances the Archives may contract with an outside source to have reproductions made and in such cases an additional fee will be charged.

Permission to examine materials is not authorization to publish them. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the hospital archivist. To the extent that it may properly do so, Children's Hospital will ordinarily grant publication rights to applicants. In granting permission to publish, Children's Hospital does not surrender its own right to publish any of the materials from its collections or grant permission to others to publish them.

If permission to publish is granted, the proper credit line, Boston Children's Hospital Archives, Boston, Massachusetts shall be included for each photograph reproduced in the published work. A free copy of all publications that rely heavily on the collections in the Boston Children's Hospital Archives should be presented to the archivist as soon as the work is published. Children's Hospital does not assume any responsibility for copyright infringement of materials for which others hold the copyright.

If permission is granted for the researcher to photograph any visual material in the Archives, all negatives must be given to the Boston Children's Hospital Archives.

Hospital archives acquisition policy

The Boston Children's Hospital Archives acquires records and publications of enduring historical, legal, fiscal, administrative and research value to the hospital community. Records that reflect the hospital's functions in the areas of pediatrics, administration, teaching, research, program development, public relations, patient support, and cultural enrichment are actively collected, as are those documenting the activities and achievements of the Children's community.

Recorded data in all formats is deemed to have permanent value if it documents core components of hospital policy, strategic planning, curriculum, research, organizational structure, programming, campus life and culture, and the built environment.

The archives collects:

  • Articles of incorporation, bylaws, committee files and minutes, financial information, correspondence, photographs, films, slides, audio tapes, policy and procedures manuals, patient logs and annual reports
  • Official publications of the hospital and its departments, services, laboratories, programs, centers and other units;
  • Publications written about the hospital or medical center;
  • Personal and professional papers of selected individuals associated with the hospital (including correspondence, laboratory notebooks and unpublished essays);
  • Records of selected organizations associated with the hospital or the field of pediatrics;
  • Selected books written by individuals whose papers are housed in the archives; Publications written using information or images from the collections housed in the archives;
  • Selected histories of hospitals, physicians, pediatric specialties, and pediatric associations;
  • Oral histories of selected individuals associated with the hospital;
  • Medical instruments developed by Children's physicians

Contact the Hospital Archivist to learn more about donating your inactive records or papers. Call 617-355-5286 or email

BCH employees, please consult the CHB Document Retention and Destruction guidelines in the Compliance Manual.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944