New HIV/AIDS History Material on Calisphere

Highlighting some recently added HIV/AIDS history material now available on our digital collections on Calisphere:

AIDS History Project Ephemera Collection

Material includes posters and pamphlets related to the medical and/or social aspects of AIDS and HIV, with a focus on prevention and on addressing misconceptions about the virus and disease. Call number: MSS 2000-31.

Campbell (Bobbi) Diary

Selected material from the diary of Bobbi Campbell, nurse and self-identified “AIDS Poster Boy.” Campbell was one of the first and most public People with AIDS (PWAs), speaking at numerous conferences and other events. The diary is dated July 1983 through February 1984. Call number: MSS 96-33.

Sally Hughes AIDS Research Collection

Selections from research materials collected by historian Sally Hughes in preparation for AIDS oral histories that she conducted. The interviews document the experiences of physicians, nurses, and scientists who played key roles in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Call number: MSS 2001-04.

AIDS-Patient Needs flowchart. Sally Hughes AIDS Research Collection.

San Francisco AIDS Foundation Records

Material from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, an organization founded in 1982 to help end the HIV/AIDS epidemic through education, advocacy and direct services for prevention and care. Call number: MSS 94-60.

San Francisco General Hospital Ward 84/86 Records

Selections from the records of San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) Ward 84/86, one of the first clinics in the country to treat and care for HIV/AIDS patients. Call number: MSS 94-61.

Staff of SFGH Ward 84/86, circa 1985. San Francisco General Hospital Ward 84/86 Records.

As we begin our recently awarded NHPRC grant to provide access to new AIDS history collections, we will be adding more digital items to Calisphere. We will keep you posted as we continue to update our collections.

Preserving History of HIV/AIDS Epidemic

The UCSF Archives & Special Collections was the pioneering repository that collected materials documenting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The UCSF AIDS History Project (AHP) began in 1987 as a joint effort of historians, archivists, AIDS activists, health care providers and others to secure historically significant resources of the response to the AIDS crisis in the city of San Francisco.

Starting in 1991 the Archives received several grants from National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to fund the survey, acquisition, arrangement, and description of carefully selected records from numerous AIDS-related agencies and organizations in San Francisco.

San Franciscans, especially LGBT community, quickly began responding to the mysterious health care crisis as soon as its scope and mortality rate became evident. Working long hours on a voluntary basis, activists began to create community-based organizations (CBOs) to deal with needs of the growing number of sick and dying, respond to the fear and grief of friends and loved ones, and serve as centers for compiling and disseminating information. Over time a very effective collaboration of city and state agencies, hospitals, health care providers, political activists, and CBOs evolved and became tagged as “the San Francisco model” of AIDS care. An extensive array of services developed to help people from various communities affected by HIV. One of the primary objectives of the AHP was to capture this complex evolution and to also provide instruction in records management practices to the CBOs. With the help of NHPRC, the Archives continued acquiring and processing new collections.

The last NHPRC grant in 2004-2006 funded the AIDS Epidemic Historical Records Project, a collaboration of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society (GLBTHS) and UCSF Archives & Special Collections, and permitted to complete the processing of 18 existing collections. In addition, UCSF acquired records from the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, and the UCSF AIDS Health Project. GLBTHS acquired records of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Shanti Project.

AHP continues to grow and earlier this year Prof. Nancy Stoller donated materials that were added to her papers containing research files for the book Lessons from the Damned: Queers, Whores and Junkies Respond to AIDS. AHP collections remain the most heavily used among our manuscript holdings. Read more about the AHP and view the list of collections on the Archives website.

Cover of Newsweek magazine, August 8, 1983.

Cover of Newsweek magazine, August 8, 1983. Bobbi Campbell (on the left) identified as a person “who has the disease” and his boyfriend appeared on the cover of Newsweek for an article about AIDS’ impact on gay men (although the magazine described his partner Bobby Hilliard as his ‘friend’). Bobbi Campbell Diary, MSS 96-33, folder 1. UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management, Archives and Special Collections, University of California, San Francisco.

Continue reading