New to the Archive: The William R. Alschuler collection

We are excited to announce the addition of a newly acquired collection to the archive. This collection includes materials assembled and organized by William R. Alschuler, California Institute of the Arts science faculty, for a class on the AIDS epidemic he was teaching in 1993-1996 entitled, “AIDS as exhibit.” It contains flyers, handouts, newsletters, and other publications from numerous public health departments and community based organizations in California and around the country with information about AIDS transmission and prevention, treatment, testing protocols, nutrition, service organizations, legal rights and educational resources as well as newspaper and journal clippings and course syllabi about the history of the AIDS epidemic. The final project of this class included exhibits curated by students that were displayed in hallways at California Institute of the Arts.

New Archives Intern: Brittany Peretiako

Today’s post is an introduction from Brittany Peretiako, our newest intern here in the Archives who will be working on helping us digitize materials and clean metadata in preparation for larger-scale digitization projects.


My name is Brittany Peretiako, and I am excited to join you all as an intern. As a brief introduction, I am originally from Santa Barbara, CA. I have three siblings, one brother and two sisters. My brother lives out in Arizona, and my sisters live in Emeryville. I moved to the bay area about three years ago to attend UC Berkeley where I earned my bachelor’s degree studying US history with a focus on human rights issues.

Currently, I live in Concord, CA with my husband Ivan and our one year old son Emery. We have another addition to our family on the way, who will be arriving in November. As a family, we love to spend time outside exploring the bay. One of our favorite activities is hiking, and we are always looking for new trails to take.

I am enrolled in an online archives and records administration graduate program through San Jose State University. Although I am only in my first year, I have learned so much already and cannot wait to see what lies ahead. During my time as an intern here, I will be working on metadata clean-up and digitization. I may also have the opportunity to participate in web archiving. I was drawn to this position because it provides me with an opportunity to apply the skills I am learning in school to real-world tasks. Much of my schoolwork involves simply learning the importance of items such as metadata and digitization, but does not provide the ability to actually do hands-on work.

I look forward to getting to know all of you better over the next three months! 

Processing the Laurie Garrett papers

As part of our current National Archive NHPRC grant project “Evolution of San Francisco’s Response to a Public Health Crisis: Providing Access to New AIDS History Collections,” we’ve been processing the papers of Laurie Garrett. Garrett is a Peabody, Polk, and Pulitzer Prize award winning journalist. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism for her work chronicling the Ebola virus in Zaire published in Newsday. She is also a bestselling author of the book The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. Garrett has worked for National Public Radio, Newsday, and was a senior fellow for The Council of Foreign Relations. She has won many awards including the Award of Excellence from the National Association of Black Journalists and the Bob Considine Award of the Overseas Press Club of America.

Headshot of Laurie Garrett
Laurie Garrett, photograph by Erica Berger, MSS 2013-03

The Laurie Garrett papers include drafts of her two books, The Coming Plague and Betrayal of Trust. The collection also includes material related to her service in The Council on Foreign Relations. Garrett’s papers feature correspondence, records of the various national and international conferences and meetings of which she was a part. Some unique types of material present in the collection include audiovisual recordings, photographs, videotapes, film reels, notebooks, and interviews.

A conference bag with several flyers for HIV/AIDS conferences laying on a table.
Conference bags, notebook, and press card, Laurie Garrett papers, MSS 2013-03

Once the Laurie Garrett papers are processed, a finding aid will be prepared and put on the Online Archive of California, and a small selection of the collection will be digitized and made available online to researchers via Calisphere.

-Edith Martinez, processing archivist for AIDS History Project