Margaret Sanger Research Bureau

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The Margaret Sanger Research Bureau (MSRB) began as the Clinical Research Bureau in 1923, operating under the direction of the American Birth Control League (ABCL). In 1928, Sanger resigned as president of the ABCL and assumed full control of the clinic, renaming it the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau (BCCRB). The BCCRB reunited with the ABCL in a 1939 merger that created the Birth Control Federation of America (renamed Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) in 1942), but the clinic retained much of its independence. In 1940, the clinic's name was changed to the MSRB in honor of its founder. The MSRB became the clinical research arm of the PPFA. Due to financial struggles, the MSRB became affiliated with Columbia University in 1968, and rising costs forced the Bureau to shut down its headquarters and combine its staff with Planned Parenthood of New York City in a new facility called the Margaret Sanger Center which provided comprehensive contraceptive services for women and couples and became the largest combined birth control and fertility center in the world. In addition to its medical and research programs, the Center also offered a fellowship program for gynecologists and obstetricians for intensive training in birth control techniques. After Medical Director Hannah Stone's death in 1941, her husband Abraham Stone altered and expanded the Center to include research and services for infertility, in addition to contraception.

From the description of Margaret Sanger Research Bureau Records 1873-1973 (bulk 1917-1969) (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 60328114

BCCRB pamphlet, undated © PPFA

Margaret Sanger founded the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau (MSRB) in 1923 as the Clinical Research Bureau, operating under the direction of the American Birth Control League (ABCL). In 1928, Margaret Sanger resigned as president of the ABCL and assumed full control of the clinic, renaming it the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau (BCCRB). The BCCRB and the ABCL merged in 1939 and became the Birth Control Federation of America (it became Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) in 1942 with the clinic retaining much of its, independence. In 1940, it was renamed the MSRB in honor of its founder. Under the guidelines of the 1939 merger, the MSRB was only loosely affiliated with PPFA until the mid-1950s, when budget deficits forced the Bureau to more closely align its services with the Federation in exchange for financial assistance. The Bureau assisted with fund-raising and became the clinical research arm of the PPFA. In return PPFA funded the Bureau and provided grants for doctors and researchers on the Bureau staff. In 1968 because of continuing financial difficulties the Bureau became affiliated with Columbia University. However, budgetary difficulties in 1974 forced the Bureau to shut down and combine its staff with Planned Parenthood of New York City in a new facility called the Margaret Sanger Center in New York. Between 1940 and 1962 (the last year of Sanger's involvement with the MSRB) the Bureau provided comprehensive contraceptive services for women and couples, and became the largest combined birth control and fertility center in the world.

After Medical Director Hannah Stone's death in 1941, Abraham Stone, her husband and successor, altered and expanded the MSRB to accommodate his growing interest in infertility. In 1945, Stone inaugurated a Fertility Service that offered counseling, testing, and treatment for infertile couples. He expanded the Bureau's Marriage Consultation Service and steered the Research Department into a greater emphasis on infertility studies. While the Bureau continued to offer contraceptive services, the number of patients dropped as contraception became more widely available through private physicians. However, the Bureau grew as a teaching center, offering seminars, research projects and clinical work for visiting doctors, nurses, and medical students. The Bureau also offered a fellowship program for gynecologists and obstetricians for intensive training in birth control techniques. Margaret Sanger withdrew from day-to-day MSRB affairs in the 1940s, but continued to make many of the budgetary and personnel decisions. Though she disagreed with how the Clinic had evolved under Abraham Stone's leadership, she continued to raise funds for the MSRB. In 1950 Sanger turned over even more control to Stone, naming him director and selling him the West 16th Street building. For more information on the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau see the Margaret Sanger Papers Project.

From the guide to the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau Records MS 320., 1873-1973, 1917-1969, (Sophia Smith Collection)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Family Planning Oral History Project. Records, 1909-1984 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Family Planning Oral History Project. Records, 1909-1984 (inclusive), 1973-1977 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Margaret Sanger Research Bureau Records MS 320., 1873-1973, 1917-1969 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Papers, 1916-1959., 1916-1959 (Inclusive), 1951-1959 (Bulk) Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
referencedIn Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966. Margaret Sanger papers, 1900-1966 (bulk 1928-1940). Library of Congress
referencedIn Interviews, 1973-1977 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Guttmacher, Alan Frank, 1898-. Papers, 1860s, 1898-1974. Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
referencedIn Additional papers of Mary Steichen Calderone, (inclusive), (bulk), 1914-1989, 1960-1989 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Gamble, Clarence James, 1894-. Papers of Clarence J. Gamble, 1920-1966 (bulk). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Margaret Sanger Research Bureau. Margaret Sanger Research Bureau Records 1873-1973 (bulk 1917-1969) Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Papers, 1860s, 1898-1974. Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
referencedIn Margaret Sanger Papers, 1900-1966, (bulk 1928-1940) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Family Planning Oral History Project Records, 1909-1984 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Stone, Abraham, 1890-1959. Personal and Professional Papers, 1916-1959. Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Birth Control League corporateBody
associatedWith Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Birth Control Federation of America corporateBody
associatedWith Blossom, F. A. b. 1878. person
associatedWith Blossom, F. A. (Frederick Augustus), b. 1878 person
associatedWith Calderone, Mary Steichen, 1904-1998 person
associatedWith Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947 person
associatedWith Drysdale, George, 1825-1904 person
associatedWith Ellis, Havelock, 1859-1939 person
associatedWith Family Planning Oral History Project family
associatedWith Family Planning Oral History Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Family Planning Oral History Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Gamble, Clarence James, 1894- person
associatedWith Guttmacher, Alan Frank, 1898- person
associatedWith Harman, Moses, 1830-1910. person
associatedWith Harmon, Moses, 1830-1910 person
associatedWith Malthusian League corporateBody
associatedWith National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control corporateBody
associatedWith National Committee on Maternal Health corporateBody
associatedWith Planned Parenthood Federation of America corporateBody
associatedWith Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966 person
associatedWith Stone, Abraham, 1890- person
associatedWith Stone, Hannah M. (Hannah Mayer), 1894-1941 person
associatedWith Stopes, Marie Carmichael, 1880-1958 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Great Britain
United States
Subject
Marriage--History--20th century--Sources
Women--Health and hygiene--20th century--Sources
Birth control clinics--History--Sources
Sex instruction--History
Birth control--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Birth control--Law and legislation--United States--History--Sources
Birth control--Great Britain--History
Birth control--Religious aspects--Catholic Church
Birth control--Research--History--Sources
Birth control--History
Birth control--Law and legislation--History--Sources
Controceptives--Research--Sources
Women--Health and hygiene--United States--20th century--Sources
Marriage--United States--History--20th century--Sources
Sex instruction--United States--History
Birth control--History--20th century--Sources
Birth control clinics--United States--History--SourcesContraceptives--Research--Sources
Sexual health--History--20th century--Sources
Hygiene, Sexual--History--20th century--Sources
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1873

Active 1973

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