Middlesex University

Records, 1915-2001, n.d.

6 cu. ft. (1 document box, 2 record center boxes, 2 clamshells, 12 loose volumes)

Restrictions | History--Biography | Scope Notes | Series | Series Summary | Folder List

Some material is restricted; please consult the University Archivist.

In the first half of the 20th century, Middlesex University was known as a university founded on the principles of equality, freedom, and scholarship, as the school maintained a student population diverse in race, color, and religion, during a time when many universities in the United States had quotas and were not as open. The early foundations of Middlesex University were formed in 1850 when the Worcester Medical College became authorized to grant medical degrees. During the American Civil War, the Worcester Medical College continued as a hospital, but stopped its operations as a medical college. The college remained closed until 1914 when John Hall Smith, a member of the Board of Trustees for the Medical College, led a successful drive to reopen the school. Medical instruction began in 1914 in Cambridge. As the location of the school changed, the school was renamed the Middlesex College of Medicine and Surgery, using Middlesex Hospital in Cambridge. In 1917, the University of Massachusetts was chartered by the state legislature and became affiliated with Middlesex College. The schools had a joint Board of Trustees.

As Middlesex College began to grow, John Hall Smith chose a site in Waltham, what is today the Brandeis campus, to accommodate the college's expansion. The Castle was built in 1928 and was the main building of instruction on campus, containing classrooms, labs, and lecture rooms. In 1935, the Middlesex College of Medicine and Surgery changed its name to the Middlesex College, as the state legislature allowed for the school to confer degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. In 1937, the Middlesex College and the University of Massachusetts merged to become Middlesex University. Prior to World War II, Middlesex offered instruction in the schools of medicine, liberal arts, pharmacy, podiatry, and veterinary medicine.

For many years Middlesex University had difficulty gaining accreditation from the American Medical Association (AMA). New legislation passed in 1944 required doctors to have graduated from an AMA-approved university in order to be licensed. According to the AMA, Middlesex, among other problems, lacked the sufficient funds, facilities, and faculty needed to gain accreditation. Controversy surrounded this AMA decision regarding Middlesex, and some at the university accused the AMA of antisemitism. Many Middlesex students and faculty members were Jewish, and the university maintained a racially and religiously diverse community. The lack of AMA accreditation, combined with declining enrollment due to the Second World War, doomed the university. As the war drew to a close, Middlesex found itself in a grave financial situation and faced the prospect of shutting down completely.

The University's situation caught the attention of the Albert Einstein Foundation, which was looking for an opportunity to establish a Jewish-sponsored, non- sectarian school based strictly upon merit and open to the entire world, regardless of race, color, or religion. These ideals mirrored Middlesex's own principles, and the trustees of the troubled school decided to transfer the university's charter and property in 1946. The new institution became Brandeis University, which opened its doors in the fall of 1948.

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Scope and Contents
The materials in these files were created from 1915 to 2001. The collection consists of correspondence, essays, articles, reports, cash books, and court case materials. Other items include official course catalogues, commencement programs, yearbooks, magazines, photographs, and news clippings. A large portion of the collection documents communication among Middlesex Board of Trustees members and discussions between the Board and the Albert Einstein Foundation and the American Medical Association. A considerable amount of administrative records were most likely lost in a 1936 fire in the administration building. Most of the correspondence from the Board of Trustees and the American Medical Association dates from 1937 onward.

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Written Histories (box 1)
Board of Trustees (box 1)
Albert Einstein Foundation (box 1)
American Medical Association (box 1)
Court Case: Trustees of Middlesex University vs.
    The Approving Authority (boxes 1-2)
General Administrative Records (box 2, map drawer 1)
Publications and Publicity (boxes 2-5, map drawer 1)
Personal--Smith Family (box 3, map drawer 1)

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Series Summary
Written Histories
Inclusive Dates: 1946-1972, n.d.
Arrangement: 3 folders
This series contains three essays describing specific aspects of the
history of Middlesex University.  The first two essays were written by
Charles Ruggles Smith, focusing on the history of the campus; the second
of these essays contains some personal information pertaining to Dr.
Smith as well.  The third essay is a paper written by a student from
Framingham State College focusing on the controversy surrounding the
closing of Middlesex and its relationship with the American Medical

Board of Trustees
Inclusive Dates: 1937-1949
Arrangement: Chronological
The folders in this series labeled "records" contain mostly
correspondence among the members of the Board of Trustees, as
well as reports and biographies of the members.  The series also
contains minutes of Board meetings.  In 1946, the Board of Trustees
changed leadership, as the members of the Albert Einstein
Foundation took over the Board.  Israel Goldstein became the new
president of the Board of Trustees.  Some of the information after
1946 overlaps with materials located in the Albert Einstein
Foundation Series.

Albert Einstein Foundation
Inclusive Dates: 1946-1947
Arrangement: 2 folders
This series contains correspondence between Middlesex and the Albert
Einstein Foundation, including some letters written by Einstein himself.
 The correspondence discusses the transfer of the university, its
charter, and its grounds and facilities to the Foundation.

American Medical Association
Inclusive Dates: 1936-1947
Arrangement: Chronological
The material in this series relates to the attempts of Middlesex
University to become approved by the American Medical
Association.  The series includes correspondence, survey forms,
evaluations, and articles.

Court Case: Trustees of Middlesex University vs.
     The Approving Authority
Inclusive Dates: 1944
Arrangement: Numerical
This series contains the official stenographic records of the Middlesex
University vs the Approving Authority court case, as well as the
exhibits used in the trial.

General Administrative Records
Inclusive Dates:1915-1958, n.d.
Arrangement: Chronological
This series contains alumni lists, copies of legislation, hospital
records, reports, agreements, cash books, and general lists, all
pertaining in some
way to administration and organization of the school.

Publications and Publicity
Inclusive Dates: 1927-2001, n.d.
Arrangement: By subseries, then chronological
This series contains official catalogues and bulletins, school
magazines, event programs, yearbooks, photographs, and
newspaper clippings.  This series also contains glass plate
negatives, which are found in boxes 4 and 5 at the end of the

Personal--Smith Family
Inclusive Dates: 1942-1944, n.d.
Arrangement: 2 folders
This series contains the death notice of John Hall Smith as well as
C. Ruggles Smith's WWII draft registration card.

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Folder List
Written Histories
Box 1
          "A History of the Campus," C.R. Smith, n.d.
          Harvard "Class Life"--Biography of C.R. Smith and Middlesex University, 1946-1972
          "Profile of a Controversy," Thelma Sonnichsen, 1967

Board of Trustees
Box 1
          Records, 1937-1943 [7 folders]
          Records, 1943 [R]
          Records, 1944-1945 [2 folders]
          Records, 1945 [R]
          Records, 1946 [2 folders]
          Records, 1946 [R]
          Records, 1947-1949, n.d. [3 folders}
          Minutes, 1939-1946

Albert Einstein Foundation
Box 1
          Correspondence, 1946-1947 [2 folders]

American Medical Association
Box 1
          Records, 1936-1947 [2 folders]
          Records, 1940-1945 [R]
          Survey Forms--A-Z, Excluding C, 1940-1943
          Survey Forms--Form C, 1940-1943
          Evaluations of Middlesex by the American Medical Association, 1943
          Summer Intern Recommendations, 1944 [R]
          Articles, 1945-1946

Court Case: Trustees of Middlesex University vs. The Approving Authority
Box 1
          Stenographic Record--Volumes I-VI, 1944 [5 folders]
          Exhibits--No.s 1-62, 1944 [3 folders]
Box 2
          Exhibits--No.s 63-71, cont., 1944 [3 folders]

General Administrative Records
Box 2
          Alumni Lists, 1915-1947
Oversize Volumes
          Middlesex University Cash Books, 1930-1948 [11 volumes]
          University of Massachusetts Cash Book, 1934-1938 [1 volume]
Box 2
          The Commonwealth of Massachusetts--House...No.476--Act Granting Middlesex Trustees the
               Authority to Grant Certain Degrees, 1937 [2 folders--second copy in flat file]
          Freeman L. Lowell Memorial Hospital and Dispensary, 1937-1958
          President's Report, 1940
          Agreement of Employment--Dr. Rushmore, 1942
          Correspondence--To Students, 1943-1945
          Clinical Receptors, 1944-1945
          Middlesex Medical Alumni Ineligible for Massachusetts Registration, 1944-1946
          Department of Higher Education, National Education of the United States, April 22, 1946
Map Drawer 1
          1946 Act of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1946
Box 2
          1946 Act of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1946
          Hospitals and Internships, n.d.
          Petitions, n.d. [3 folders]

Publications and Publicity
Box 2
          Bulletin of Academic and Professional Courses, 1936-1937
          Bulletin of Medical and Premedical Courses, 1933-1934
          Bulletin of Premedical and Podiatry Courses, 1936-1937
          College of Arts and Sciences, 1942-1943
          Junior College, 1939-1940
          Middlesex University, 1938-1939
          School of Medicine, 1939-1944 [4 folders]
          School of Pharmacy, 1937-1941 [2 folders]
          School of Podiatry, 1934-1935, 1939-1942 [3 folders]
          School of Veterinary Medicine, 1939-1942 [2 folders]
          Small Brochures, 1935-1946
          "The Caduceus," June 1927
          "Graduate Pioneer," April 1942
Flat File
     Campus map, ca. 1930
Box 2
          Banquet and Ball, 1938, 1941 [2 folders]
          Class Day, 1941-1942
          Commencement, 1936-1946 [11 folders]
          Commencement, 1941-1945
     Reunion Yearbook
          School of Veterinary Medicine, 1995
          Campus Buildings and Land, n.d.
          The Castle, n.d.
          Views of Boston from Campus, n.d.
          Waltham, n.d.
          Probably Waltham, n.d.
          Construction, n.d.
          "The Ontogeny of Middlesex University's Veterinary School, 1939-1940
          Classrooms and Labs, n.d.
          The Smith Family, n.d.
          People, n.d.
Box 3
          Alumni Peter Titus, 1942
          Medical School Class in Lab, 1930
          Transition into Brandeis University, n.d.
          Postcards, n.d.
          Class Book, 1940
          Newspaper Articles, 1924-1947 [3 folders]
          Reprints and Journal Articles, 1924-1948
Map Drawer 1
          Massachusetts Proclamation, "Middlesex University School of Veterinary Medicine Day," 1995
Box 4
     Photographs--Glass Plate Negatives
          Castle, (MU01.TIF), n.d.
          Castle Close-Up, (MU02.TIF), n.d.
          Castle Construction, (MU03.TIF), n.d.
          View of Middlesex University, (MU04.TIF), n.d.
          Laborores Cutting Rock, (MU05.TIF), n.d.
          View of Middlesex University from Reservoir, (MU06.TIF), n.d.
          Haying (Behind Faculty House), (MU07.TIF), n.d.
          Middlesex University Commencement, (MU08.TIF), n.d.
          Construction Site, n.d.
          Class Photograph, n.d. [2 folders]
          Convocation, n.d.
          Middlesex University Commencement, n.d.
          Walled Yard, With Doctors of School, n.d.
          Middlesex University Commencement, n.d.
          Middlesex University Graduation Exercises, Convocation, n.d.
          Class Photograph, n.d.
          Class Photograph, n.d.
          Large, Columned Portico of Building, Group of People on Steps, n.d.
          Garden Trellis, n.d. [2 folders]
Box 5
          Middlesex University Reservoir, n.d.
          Garden, n.d. [2 folders}
          Castle, n.d.
          Portrait of Woman, Taken at Faculty House, n.d.
          Grounds, n.d.
          View of Middlesex University, n.d.
          Haying, Behind Faculty House, n.d.
          View of Middlesex University from Reservoir, n.d.
          Construction Site, n.d.
          Glass Plate Image Digital Library Binder [includes 2 CD ROMs], 2001

Personal--Smith Family
Box 3
          Draft Card, 1942
          Death Notice, 1944
Map Drawer 1
          Middlesex University plan, n.d.

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