New Collections on Calisphere: The Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic NEH Grant

New collections have been digitized and are available for research on Calisphere as part of our NEH Grant-funded project The Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic. 

UCSF’s holdings of the Shanti Project Records (MSS 98-48) document the organizations efforts to provide peer to peer supportive care for people suffering from terminal AIDS-related illnesses.

Shanti Project Executive Director Jim Geary

Shanti Project Executive Director Jim Geary.

Founded in 1974 by Dr. Charles Garfield, Shanti was a nearly defunct organization with no funding when Jim Geary took it over in 1982, working for no pay. He built it into a successful volunteer peer support organization supporting exclusively AIDS patients over the following six years. He resigned in 1988 amidst an array of mismanagement allegations.

Volunteer Counselor Training, 1983

Volunteer Counselor Training, 1983

The Mobilization Against AIDS Records (MSS 95-03) documents the advocacy and lobbying organization founded in 1984. They are perhaps best known for their Dance-a-thon and Candlelight Vigil fundraising and awareness raising activities.

Mobilization Against AIDS flyer, 1985.

Mobilization Against AIDS flyer, 1985.

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 Calisphere.org 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