UCSF Archives Receives Grant to Preserve LGBTQ History Collections

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UCSF Archives & Special Collections was awarded a $14,986 local assistance grant by the California State Library for the “Documenting the LGBTQ Health Equity Movement in California” project.

Preserving California’s LGBTQ History is a grant program that funds projects that support physical and/or digital preservation and digitization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) materials relating to California history and culture. This California State Library program will award a total of $500,000 in one-time grants for projects from large archival institutions with a global reach, as well as smaller, localized collections. The program aims to preserve materials that demonstrate the significant role of LGBTQ Californians and the LGBTQ movement in this state, as well as providing a more comprehensive and inclusive view of California’s history.

The UCSF project will support preservation through processing and partial digitization of two collections documenting the LGBTQ health equity movement in California:

•         San Francisco AIDS Foundation Magnet Program Records

•         UCSF LGBT Resource Center Records

San Francisco AIDS Foundation Magnet Program card

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) Magnet Program is a health and wellness program located in the SFAF’s Strut Center in the heart of the Castro District of San Francisco. They offer community events, sexual health services, substance use counseling, PrEP, HIV and STI testing, learning events and rotating art displays from queer artists.  In spring 2001, a Community Advisory Board comprised of community members, social workers, and activists began meeting regularly to discuss how to proceed with the development of a new Gay Men’s Health Center.  The new center chose to address gay men’s health in innovative ways instead of simply replicating existing programs in a new location. Since 2003, Magnet’s overarching vision has been to promote the physical, mental, and social well-being of gay men. Magnet activities are guided by the following core values of the agency: self-determination, access, sexual expression, diversity, and leadership. Magnet provides individual STI/HIV services and community programs including book readings, art exhibits, town hall forums, and other social events. In 2007 Magnet merged with the SFAF to increase the services available to men throughout the Bay Area. Magnet also serves transgender, gender non-conforming, gender non-binary, and gender-queer people.

This collection includes founding documents, surveys of clients, assessments of services, marketing materials, advocacy campaigns, photographs, community art pieces, and posters documenting the establishment and activities of the Magnet program.

UCSF Visibility Project flyer, 2006 Chancellor's Award for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Leadership
UCSF Visibility Project flyer, 2006 Chancellor’s Award for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Leadership

The LGBT Resource Center serves as the hub for all queer life at UCSF, including the campus and medical center. It works toward creating and maintaining a safe, inclusive, and equitable environment for LGBTQIA+ students, staff, faculty, post-docs, residents, fellows, alumni, and patients. It aims to sustain visibility and a sense of community throughout the many campus sites. This community takes an intersectional approach and is committed to building workplace equity, promoting student and staff leadership, and providing high-quality, culturally-congruent care to UCSF patients. Founded in 1998, it was the first LGBT resource center in a health science institution.

This collection includes the center’s founding documents, traces the earlier LGBT community activities in the 1970s through the 1980s, and contains materials chronicling the history and evolution of the center. It also includes records of diverse events organized by the center: Coming Out Monologues, Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience, and Trans Day of Visibility, as well as correspondence and announcements related to OUTlist, Mentoring Program, and Annual LGBTQIA+ Health Forum. These materials also document UC-wide advocacy work for providing equal benefits for same-sex domestic partners.

The UCSF Archives & Special Collections have been working on preserving materials documenting the LGBTQ health equity movement in California. These two recently acquired collections will enable researchers to investigate these communities’ efforts to address health-related issues and advocate for health equity.

 The Magnet collections allow researchers to investigate how the “San Francisco model” of AIDS care continued to evolve in the twenty-first century by providing free and equitable health care, education, and community space. Both collections contribute to an understanding of the medical, social, and political processes that merged to develop effective means of treating those with AIDS and other illnesses.

Diverse audiences will benefit from having access to this project’s archival collections, including scholars in disciplines such as medicine, nursing, jurisprudence, journalism, history and sociology, college students, and members of the general public pursuing individual areas of interest.

The collections included in this project are currently only accessible at the UCSF Archives reading room. The digitization of these collections will grant access to these valuable primary sources and other hard-to-find materials to scholars, students, and others worldwide. This project will significantly expand the historical record of the LGBTQ health equity movement in California and make a new corpus of materials related to the movement’s progress discoverable to a broad audience.

New Accessions Spotlight (or My Cluttered Desk)

It’s been a busy start to spring here at UCSF A&SC: new events and exhibits coming up, lots of researchers, and of course many new collections. As is prone to happen during times like these, there is a pile of new materials sitting on my desk, just waiting for me to enter into our database and (eventually) our library catalog. Here are a few that I am particularly excited about:

Clark Sturges papers (MSS 2017-09)

Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, we recently were given the papers of Clark Sturges that relate to his profile of Dr. David E. Smith. Smith founded the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic in 1967 in response to the medical needs of many of the young people who came to San Francisco during the Summer of Love. Sturges completed the book in 1993, and the papers are composed mainly of taped interviews, research notes, and correspondence.

Steven Deeks papers (MSS 2017-10)

Another recent acquisition is the papers of Dr. Steven Deeks. The Deeks papers are primarily concerned with his involvement in the controversial baboon bone marrow transplant to an AIDS patient in 1995. While the transplant was not successful, it illustrates the sense of desperation of people with AIDS at that time–and also the highly innovative approaches that UCSF and SFGH doctors and researchers were taking at that time to combat the disease.

Mark Jacobson papers (MSS 2017-12)

Finally, another collection that recently found its way to my desk is the papers of Dr. Mark Jacobson. The Jacobson papers are a hodgepodge of different materials, including calendars, index cards with patient symptoms and medication, a multitude of electronic records (including his PalmPilot), and this Triomune 30 box, which he picked up on a trip overseas. Dr. Jacobson also gave us a substantial number of books for our burgeoning AIDS History collection, and recently wrote a novel based upon his experiences that mentions the patient index cards in its foreword.

Archives Talk: What Will It Take To End AIDS?

cover_toendaidsDate: Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Time: 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
Presenters: Pulitzer Center supported journalists Jon Cohen, Amy Maxmen, and Misha Friedman
Location: Parnassus campus, N-217, 513 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94143

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: calendars.library.ucsf.edu/event/3017095

This event is organized and hosted jointly by UCSF Archives and Special Collections and the Department of Anthropology, History & Social Medicine. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Join UCSF Archives & Special Collections for an afternoon talk with Pulitzer Center supported journalists Jon Cohen, Amy Maxmen and Misha Friedman as they discuss their reporting on HIV/AIDS around the globe featured in the ebook, To End AIDS (this book is available free on iTunes, Amazon, and Atavist). Once on the brink of ending AIDS, we have entered a period in which the virus is offering a stern warning to the human host: the consequences of complacency are great.

Jon Cohen tailors his decades of expertise to explain a nuanced issue in the movement to end AIDS: supply chain management of antiretroviral therapies, from pharmaceutical companies through patient adherence. Amy Maxmen reports from South Africa, where scientists are aiming to break a cycle of infections by providing HIV drugs for young women before they even contract the virus. Misha Friedman’s work epitomizes in-depth reporting: he has spent years documenting the crisis in Eastern Europe and recently returned to South Africa to interview and photograph HIV-infected subjects he first photographed three years ago.

Each journalist illuminates previously under-covered areas of HIV/AIDS reporting and aims to help us think critically.  Please join us in a panel discussion to explore just what it will take to end AIDS.

jon-cohenA reporter for Science since 1990, Jon Cohen has covered the HIV/AIDS epidemic for the magazine in more than three dozen countries. He also has written for the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, Slate, and many other publications. His books include Shots in the Dark (W.W. Norton, 2001), Coming to Term (Houghton Mifflin, 2005), Almost Chimpanzee (Holt/Times Books, 2010), and Tomorrow Is a Long Time (Daylight Books, 2015). Cohen’s books and articles have won numerous awards and have been selected for The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2008, 2011).

amy-maxmenAmy Maxmen is a science journalist who covers the entanglements of evolution, medicine, policy and of people behind research. Her stories appear in a variety of outlets, including Wired, National Geographic, Nature, Newsweek, and the New York Times. Her feature on the origin of humanity is anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015. In 2016, she won a Science in Society Journalism Award from the National Association of Science Writers and the Bricker Award for Science Writing in Medicine. Prior to writing, she earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

misha-friedmanMisha Friedman is a documentary photographer with a background in international relations and economics. His analytical approach to storytelling involves trying to look beyond the facts, searching for causes, and asking complex and difficult questions. Misha regularly collaborates with international media and non-profit organizations, including the New Yorker, Time Magazine, Spiegel, GQ, Le Monde, Bloomberg Businessweek, Sports Illustrated, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, and others. His widely-exhibited work has received numerous industry awards.