New arrivals at UCSF Archives & Special Collections

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By Erin Hurley, User Services & Accessioning Archivist

This coming Monday, September 28, 2020, is the day UNESCO has designated as International Access to Information Day. Their website notes that, this year, the day is focused on “the right to information in times of crisis and on the advantages of having constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information to save lives, build trust and help the formulation of sustainable policies through and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.” In a time of national and global crisis, this year’s theme may resonate particularly with Americans, whether it brings to mind the availability of voting information or attempts at voter suppression, or of the deliberate obfuscation of scientific data and fact by the highest levels of government.   

To this end, I’d like to celebrate libraries and archives, and their explicit mission to make information accessible. UCSF Library and its Archives & Special Collections, though closed to the public since the City of San Francisco’s “shelter in place” mandate on March 16th, continues to find creative ways to help students, faculty, staff, and outside researchers access the vast stores of information that the library and archives hold, and to find ways to facilitate access across great distances.

As the User Services and Accessioning Archivist, my job is to both make collections accessible through the accessioning process, and to help users navigate the various portals through which Archives and Special Collections shares its information. This may be through finding aids on the Online Archive of California, catalog records in the UCSF Library catalog, or through brief inventories attached to finding aids that tell a user what kinds of materials they can find in a given archival collection and to help them determine whether that particular collection may be of use to them.

Though the majority of my work is still remote, I have accessioned some exciting new collections on-site over the past couple of months, which will soon be available in the above-mentioned locations. Among these is an accrual to UCSF’s Black Caucus collection, focused on the Office of UCSF Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity.  The collection was donated to A&SC in 2019, by Karen Newhouse, who served as Director of this office from 1970-2010, and includes materials documenting the work of various UCSF organizations committed to advancing diversity on campus, including Council of Minority Organizations (COMO), the Latin American Campus Association (LACA), and the pioneering Black Caucus organization, which was founded in May of 1968 – one month after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As the finding aid to the initial deposit notes, the organization is open to all Black women and men on campus, and “was instrumental in the establishment of an Affirmative Action Office, minority training programs and focused attention on the need for increased minority student enrollment at the UCSF campus.”

UCSF Black Caucus Flyer on a National Survey on Minority Admissions, January 1973, Black Caucus Records, MSS 85-38, UCSF Archives & Special Collections

Another exciting addition to the UCSF Archives includes the papers of Benjamin Libet – a neurophysiologist and professor of physiology at UCSF for nearly 50 years. Very recently donated to the Archives by his daughter Moreen, Libet’s papers consist of his personal files of research into the human brain, as well as extensive documentation of his experiments attempting to locate the origin of “free will.” The “Libet Experiment,” as it has come to be called, was conducted in the 1980s, and tried to determine whether conscious decisions first originate in the body or in the brain by asking subjects to perform simple movements while measuring their brain activity. This study seemed to indicate that the brain registers the decision to make a movement before a person is consciously aware of the decision to move, suggesting that decisions may originate in the body, and, as some have suggested, possibly disproving the idea of “free will.” This assertion of physical determinism has been much debated, and Libet’s experiments continue to be of great interest. His papers include some of the experimental devices that were constructed to help measure these brain activities, as well as handwritten notes, graphs and diagrams, and the data produced over the course these experiments. The collection is still in the process of being accessioned and inventoried, but will be available soon via OAC and the Library catalog.

If you’d like to learn more about any of these collections, or have questions about A&SC’s extensive digital collections, please feel free to get in touch.

Accessions & Additions

We’re always busy accepting new collections and pushing through our backlog to make as many collections available for research as possible. This long list of new catalog records includes materials relating to tobacco control, UCSF, neurology, nursing education, HIV/AIDS organizations, pharmacy, medical librarianship, pediatric diabetes, and more. Click on the titles below to learn more the contents, subjects, and size of these collections.

Contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more. And please don’t hesitate to use the calendar on the right to make an appointment to come in and use the collections!

Our catalog updates over the past six months:

Additions to the Catalog

As always, we’ve been working to make more and more collections accessible for research. The following are additions to the catalog over the past few months. Subject highlights include UCSF history, neurology, tobacco control, and stem cell research.

Contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more. Don’t hesitate to use the calendar on the right to make an appointment to use collections!

AR 2002-18 University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine — Office of the Dean videotape collection, 1991-2003: Videotapes of lecture series, including Dean’s Research Seminar Series (DRSS), Galante lectures, and other special lectures/symposia. Also includes State of the School addresses, faculty meetings, academic senate meetings, award ceremonies.

AR 2012-12 University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry records, 1952-1982: The papers of the UCSF School of Dentistry include: Newsletters of the Alumni Association of the University of California College of Dentistry, 1952-1980; Programs of the annual meeting of the Alumni Association of the University of California College of Dentistry, 1956-1977; Alumni Association of the University of California College of Dentistry by-laws and directory, 1974, 1981; CSEA UCSF Newsletter, 1956-1958; UCSF Alumni Association newsletter, 1982; UCSF magazine, 1982 Medi-Cal yearbooks; 2 photographs of School of Dentistry faculty and employees.

MSS 2010-16 Guenter B. Risse papers, 1987-2009: Papers relate to Risse’s research for his book “Mending Bodies, Saving Souls: A History of Hospitals” (Oxford, 1999). Materials include one binder with the original illustrations collected for the book, two folders with information about the origins of the illustrations and permissions to publish them, and one folder with correspondence and book reviews.

AR 2011-13 University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing, Master’s Entry Program in Nursing records, 1988-1991: The collection contains materials relating to the UCSF School of Nursing Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) dated from 1988-1991. Papers include grants, clippings, promotional materials, various records from the program ranging from development to accreditation.

MSS 2011-18 Rheba Fradkin (de Tornyay) papers, 1946-1954: Collection includes photographs, nursing school application, reference letters, and clippings pertaining to Mount Zion School of Nursing graduate Rheba Fradkin (de Tornyay), the nursing school yearbooks, issues of NOIZ and Bib & Apron (1953-1954), announcements, pamphlets and recruitment brochures.

AR 2013-02 University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine Office of the Dean records, 1999-2012: Records include photographs, negatives, slides, contact sheets, CDs, and DVDs from the School of Medicine Dean’s office.

MSS 2012-29 Marilyn Reed Lucia film, 2012: The collection contains the film “Steadfast Purpose: the Life of Marilyn Reed Lucia, MD,” produced by Arc Light Digital Media in association with UCSF in 2012. The film chronicles the life of Dr. Lucia, graduate of UCSF Medical School– first in medicine, then in psychiatry– who taught and practiced at UCSF as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry for more than forty years. The film begins in the 1950s and continues throughout Lucia’s life.

AR 2011-04 UCSF School of Medicine, Class of 1963 Alumni collection, 2009-2013: Collection includes the newsletter founded and edited by UCSF School of Medicine alumnus Robert Sherins, M.D. issues 2009-1013, and the 50th Reunion Memory Book for his class of 1963.

AR 2007-09 Renee Reijo Pera laboratory notebooks, 1996-2007: Collection contains the papers of Dr. Renee Reijo Pera’s laboratory. Materials include laboratory notebooks and research data. Dr. Renee Reijo Pera performed embryonic stem cell research and established UCSF’s embryonic stem cell program in 2003. She was the UCSF co-director of the human embryonic stem cell research center, and director of the training program funded through the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

AR 2003-23 Dorothy Bainton papers, 1970-2012: Records from the UCSF Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs office relate to the tenure of Dr. Dorothy Bainton. Materials include records from the Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (CACSW); files from the UCSF League of Women; other materials related to the status of women at UCSF; a copy of “Report on Ishi’s treatment at the University of California, 1911-1916;” materials related to the Distinguished Alumnus Lecture presented by Dr. Bainton at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry in 2012.

AR 2013-23 University of California, San Francisco. Metabolic Research Unit collection, 1966: Collection contains materials that relate to the UCSF Metabolic Research Unit (MRU) and includes four photograph prints depicting employees and researchers of the MRU and the inauguration ceremony and a 1966 School of Medicine Alumni-Faculty Association bulletin with an article about the history of the MRU from 1950-1966.

MSS 2013-20 Melvin M. Belli Tobacco Control papers, 1950-1999: Professional papers of Melvin M. Belli (1907-1996), a high-profile attorney in San Francisco, California, relate to actual and potential litigation matters pursued by Mr. Belli and colleagues against tobacco companies. Materials consist of various court filings, media clippings, correspondence, memoranda, publications, and others.

AR 2003-13 Department of Neurological Surgery records, 1958-2000: Records from the UCSF Department of Neurological Surgery include: publications, reports, correspondence, pamphlets, brochures, photographs, videotapes, and films.

MSS 97-04 Howard C. Naffziger papers, 1907-1983: The personal and professional papers of Howard Naffziger include correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, ephemera, certificates, military orders, notes, diaries, and artifacts. Subjects matters include Dr. Naffziger’s military experience in World War I and II, biographical information, his experiences at UCSF and his instrumental role in neurological surgery, and other work-related information.