The Center for the History of Medicine launched the Archives for Diversity and Inclusion in October 2018. The goal of the program is to ensure that the Center's collections reflect the diversity of the Harvard Medical School community by acquiring the research, teaching, and professional records of underrepresented faculty.

See the program announcement to learn more about the Archives for Diversity and Inclusion.

The Center thanks the Office for Diversity Inclusion & Community Partnership, the Joint Committee on the Status of Women, the LGBT Advisory Committee, and the Office for Faculty Affairs for their support of the Archives for Women in Medicine program and the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.

Send any questions about the Archives for Diversity and Inclusion, the Archives for Women in Medicine, tours, or donations to:

Joan Ilacqua, Archivist for Diversity and Inclusion

Phone: 617-432-7393


Archives for Women in Medicine

The Archives for Women in Medicine (AWM) collects, preserves, and provides access to the professional records of women leaders in medicine and the medical sciences. AWM collections illustrate the relationships, experiences, and struggles of women in medicine and serve as a rich resource that will inspire future generations.

Program Background
Harvard Medical School has a short but accomplished history of women students and professors. Harvard Medical School began accepting women as students in 1945, and Grete Bibring, MD, became the first full professor in 1961. Today, women make up half of all medical students. As of 2016, 18% of full professors in the Faculty of Medicine are women.

Despite this shift, women remain underrepresented in the documentary record of medical history. In 1999, less than twenty of more than 900 faculty collections at the Center for the History of Medicine represented women, and only one collection was open to research. In response, the AWM collects the records and stories of these luminaries and ensures representation in the Center’s holdings are available to researchers. With the help of the Joint Committee on the Status of Women and many generous donors, the AWM now holds over fifty collections of women in medicine, with twenty open and available to researchers.

Besides our collecting activities, the AWM celebrates the achievements of women in medicine through tours, lectures, and events. The AWM also partners with the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation to award an annual research fellowship. .

A guide to AWM collections is available.

The AWM Advisory Committee guides the efforts of the program. The Chair of the Committee is Tayyaba Hasan, Ph.D., Professor of Dermatology at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Current Committee Members are:

  • Ilene K. Gipson Ph.D., Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear
  • Mary Loeken Ph.D., Joslin Diabetes Center
  • Eleanor Shore M.D., Harvard Medical School

Support Our Activities
Archives for Women in Medicine work is possible through the generous support of donors. On average, a $1000 donation supports making one box of unique 20th century paper records with no order available to researchers. Any donation supports our mission to preserve, share, and celebrate women's achievements in medicine.

To donate, visit Support Our Activities.