New AIDS History Project Collections Online

Materials newly digitized as part of our NEH grant-funded project The Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic are available online on Calisphere.

Most of theses collections represent a “mass digitization” approach to putting materials online. In most cases (Ephemera Collection excepted), the collections are scanned at the folder level. The objects on Calisphere correspond to the folder titles you see in the collection guides found on the Online Archive of California. 

These objects contain a multi-page pdf of all the papers in each folder. Click the image to download a keyword-searchable pdf.

In some cases, when a folder title actually refers to a group of several folders, you’ll see multiple images (one for each folder) in a carousel below the main image, such as People vs. Owen Bathhouse Closure Records, Sex Clubs-Bathhouses Subject Files.

These collections are ready to research, plenty more on the way.

Bobbi Campell Diary

AIDS History Project Ephemera Collection

ACT-UP Golden Gate

People vs. Owen Bathhouse Closure (San Francisco Public Library)

Barbara Cameron Papers (San Francisco Public Library)

World AIDS Day: Digitizing The Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic   

On World AIDS Day we’re checking in on our NEH grant project to digitize large portions of our AIDS History Project collections.  For more information on the scope of the project see our previous post here. These collections illustrate for us the wide ranging impacts that AIDS has had on the Bay Area, and this project will allow us to share the stories of people with AIDS, the community groups galvanized to support them, and the researchers doggedly pursuing treatments and a cure here at UCSF.

Archivists at UCSF, San Francisco Public Library and the GLBT Historical Society have been reviewing collections, packing them up, and routing them through UCSF to the digitization lab at UC Merced.

Heather Wagner has been busily testing procedures, training students and coordinating workflows to move collection materials through digitization station. Papers, posters, diaries and other materials are run through high-speed sheet feed scanners, shot from overhead or on a cradle with a DSLR and carefully arranged lighting, or scanned on a flatbed scanner.

Scanning a poster from UCSF’s AIDS History Project Ephemera Collection at UC Merced.

We’ve digitized examples of materials requiring all these methods, look for full collections online at in the coming weeks. here’s some examples from UCSF’s collections:

Bobbi Campbell was a nurse on staff at UCSF and was diagnosed with Kaposi’s Sarcoma in 1981.His diary is a vivid account of his personal life and activism as the “KS Poster Boy”. MSS 96-33 Bobbi Campbell Diary, page 39


A fundraising predecessor to today’s AIDS/Lifecycle . The Shanti Project provided one-on-one emotional and peer support for patients. “AIDS Bike-a-thon … Cycle for Shanti”, MSS 2000-31 AIDS History Project Ephemera Collecion

ACT-UP San Francisco Four Days in Washington DC, 1988. ACT-UP San Francisco Records, MSS 98-47

In Process: Harold S. Luft papers

It’s Valentines Day, thus we bring you an update on progress in processing the professional papers of Harold S. Luft. (This one’s a bit abstract.)

Harold S. Luft. Photo: UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies

Photo: UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies

Luft is an esteemed health economist, serving the UCSF Philip R. Lee Health Policy Institute from 1978-2007, including a term as director from 1993-2007. His career encompasses extensive research in the realm of health care “big data”, analyzing health care markets, the functionalities of Health Maintenance Organizations and Preferred Provider Organizations, retail medicine and dentistry, risk pools, the relationships between volume and outcome of specific procedures, and many other subjects. His public service, including serving as a member of the Institute of Medicine, is vast and includes advising the UC System on structuring employee benefits. He has taken a crack at envisioning a national health care system that balances competition and judicious use of services to achieve stability and provide quality care in his book Total Cure

Archives & Special Collections received donations of Luft’s papers in 2000 and 2004, and processing is underway for this circa 100 linear foot collection. Look for it under call number MSS 2000-13. The collection includes extensive documentation (computer printouts, correspondence, drafts, project administration) of Luft’s research and data analysis for most of his published output. The material reflects earlier days of big data analysis, when Luft and his colleagues visited computer centers, wrote programs and queries, and carried it all home on long dot-matrix printouts or borrowed/rented open reel tapes for data storage. Often analysis was performed painstakingly by hand, as in the creation of the chart below.

Hospital resource allocation chart

Hospital resource allocation chart

Amongst the piles of journal article manuscripts, data and research angles are a number of analyses of various surgical procedures including – you guessed it – vascular surgeries, i.e. HEART ORIENTED PROCEDURES . Luft used data relating to vascular surgeries and especially Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery to analyze a number of health care delivery dynamics. One example is his analysis of the relationship between the volume of CABG surgeries performed in a given hospital and the likelihood of a favorable outcome. This led to the question “does practice make perfect?”

Figures for actual and expected death rates after vascular surgeries