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 3/3/17: The History of Higher Education in California: A Big Data Approach

UCSF School of Medicine class of 1964

Date: Friday, March 3rd, 2017
Time: 12 pm – 1:15 pm
Lecturer: Zach Bleemer (UCB)
Location: Lange Room, 5th Floor, UCSF Library – Parnassus
530 Parnassus Ave, SF, CA 94143

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: http://calendars.library.ucsf.edu/event/2941746

In his talk at the UCSF Archives & Special Collections, Zach Bleemer will discuss how he has used data science – thousands of computer-processed versions of annual registers, directories, and catalogs –  to reconstruct a near-complete database of all students, faculty, and courses at four-year universities in California in the first half of the 20th century, including UC San Francisco (which taught both undergraduates and graduate students at the time). Visualizations of this database display the expansion of higher education into rural California communities, the rise and fall of various academic departments and disciplines, and the slow (and still-incomplete) transition towards egalitarian major selection.

Zach will also discuss his recent CSHE Working Paper, in which he uses additional digitized records to analyze the social impact of the early 20th century’s expansion of female high school science teachers and female doctors across rural California communities. He finds that newly-arrived female STEM professionals serve as important role models for young women in these rural communities, causing substantial increases in female college-going. However, these young women are no more likely to study STEM fields or become doctors themselves.

Zach Bleemer

Zach Bleemer

Zach Bleemer is a PhD student in Economics and Digital Humanities Fellow at UC Berkeley, where his research examines the educational and occupational decisions of young Americans. He has previously held senior research analyst positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Mathematica Policy Research, and has published working papers on student debt, parental coresidence, and university attendance. He is also currently a Research Associate at UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education and a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

UCSF Archives & Special Collections launched this lecture series to introduce a wider community to treasures and collections from its holdings, to provide an opportunity for researchers to discuss how they use this material, and to celebrate clinicians, scientists, and health care professionals who donated their papers to the archives.

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