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Milbank Memorial Fund records

Call Number: MS 845

Scope and Contents

The Milbank Memorial Fund Records span the years 1898-1977 and consist of the minutes and other administrative records of the organization; historical material regarding the fund, and bibliographical papers for fund officers, and miscellaneous material regarding programs. General correspondence and office files were not preserved by the organization, and the manuscript group represents all of the fund's extant records through the early 1970's. The records are organized in three series: GENERAL PAPERS, BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL RECORDS, and BELLEVUE-YORKVILLE PROJECT RECORDS.

Series I, GENERAL PAPERS, is organized in four sections: Administrative Records, Commission and Committee Records, Press Releases, and Miscellany. The Administrative Records consist of minutes, proceedings and other records of the fund's Annual Conferences, Board of Directors and administrative subdivisions. The records are organized alphabetically by subdivision; material for each subdivision is filed chronologically. The records of the Annual Conferences (proceedings, 1943-1946 and 1950-1969), Board of Directors Quarterly Meetings (agenda books, 1954-1977), and Technical Board (minutes, 1922-1977) are the most complete.

The Commission and Committee Records section contains proceedings of the International Macy Conference of the Present State and Future of Public Health (1973) and of the fund-sponsored Commission for the Study of Higher Education for Public Health (1973-1974). The material for the latter conference also contains one box of survey reports which include identifiable personal information on students enrolled in schools of public health; this material is restricted and is not available for research until the year 2049.

The remainder of the Commission and Committee Records is made up of copies of material prepared by the fund for submission to two different Congressional committees investigating tax exempt foundations. The material for both committees includes financial data regarding fund income and expenditures and other information.

The Press Releasessection of Series I contains all of the one hundred and twelve numbered news releases issued by the fund (often in multiple versions) between 1923 and 1956, and sixteen of the original one hundred and forty-seven clipping books maintained by the fund through 1963. Indexes for both the news releases and the clipping books are filed at the beginning of the section.

Series II, BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL RECORDS, is organized in two sections, Biographical Records and Historical Records.The series spans the years 1898 to 1973, although the bulk of the records dates from the 1920's and 1930's. The first section contains a general biographical folder for fund officers (filed at the beginning of the series) and more extensive files for selected officers which are filed alphabetically by personal name. The section contains a variety of documentary material, including biographical sketches, photographs, newsclippings and occasional correspondence. The files for Albert G. Milbank and C.-E.A. Winslow are of special value.

The Historical Recordssection is arranged chronologically and contains a variety of brief histories, historical sketches, and summaries of activities produced by the fund. It also includes occasional documents.

Series III, BELLEVUE-YORKVILLE PROJECT RECORDS, contains reports and print material for one of the three health demonstrations which the Milbank Memorial Fund supported in the early 1920s. The records span the years 1922 to 1934 and are arranged chronologically.

The Milbank Memorial Fund Records were donated to Yale University Library in 1977 and 1978 by the fund. The records are part of the Contemporary Medical Care and Health Policy Collection, and the collection includes the papers of several fund officers, including those of Leroy E. Burney, president from 1971 to 1977 (Ms. Group no. 842).


  • 1898-2000
  • Majority of material found within 1922 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

While this collection as a whole is available for research, parts of it may be restricted due to law, university policy or fragility. Any restricted material will be noted as such.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creator(s) of this collection for materials they have authored or otherwise produced. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Milbank Memorial Fund in 1977, 1978, 1984, 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1995, and 2001. Gift of the New York Academy of Medicine, 2003.


Arranged in three series and eleven additions: I. General Papers, 1922-1977. II. Biographical and Historical Records, 1898-1973. III. Bellevue-Yorkville Project Records, 1922-1934.


100.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The records consist of administrative files of the organization, biographical and historical material on the fund, editorial files, press releases, bibliographies on aspects of public health, and specialized reports on individual programs. Fund officers whose biographical material and speeches were collected include John A. Kingsbury, Albert Goodsell Milbank, William H. Welch, and C.-E. A. Winslow. Of particular interest are the records (1922-1934) of the Bellevue-Yorkville Project which contain reports and printed matter relating to one of the three health demonstration projects which the fund supported in the early 1920s. These papers form part of the Contemporary Medical Care and Health Policy Collection.

Biographical / Historical

The Milbank Memorial Fund was established and endowed by Elizabeth Milbank Anderson as a memorial to her parents, Jeremiah and Elizabeth Lake Milbank. Incorporated in New York on April 3, 1905, as the Memorial Fund Association, the organization was chartered "to improve the physical, mental and moral condition of humanity and generally to advance charitable and benevolent objects." The organization's name was changed to the Milbank Memorial Fund in 1921.

The Milbank Memorial Fund has focused its activities in the field of public health, and has had a significant impact in promoting reform in the organization and delivery of health care. Historically the Milbank Fund has operated by identifying and concentrating on successive problem areas in public health. As alternative funding has become available to support work in a given area, the organization has moved on to a new emphasis. In the early 1920s the fund devoted most of its resources to medical care and health delivery systems, funding several health demonstration projects in urban and rural areas of New York State. In 1928 it began studying the relationship between population problems and public health, and it continued to support demographic research for four decades, longer than any other program.

In the 1930s attention was turned to nutrition and the hygiene of housing. In the 1940s and 1950s the Milbank Fund's program expanded to include the epidemiology of chronic disease and especially the development and appraisal of mental health services. In the 1960s the organization focused on promoting the development throughout the western hemisphere of young medical educators in the areas of social and preventive medicine. During the 1970s the fund shifted emphasis to health services consumerism and to the acquisition and application of knowledge about more effective utilization of health services.

For additional information on the Milbank Memorial Fund, see Series II, BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL RECORDS.

Guide to the Milbank Memorial Fund Records
Under Revision
compiled by the staff of Manuscripts and Archives
August 2001
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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