New AIDS Health Project Digital Collection

We’ve started work on our NHPRC grant project, “Evolution of San Francisco’s Response to a Public Health Crisis: Providing Access to New AIDS History Collections.” Throughout the project, we’ll be posting regular updates on Brought to Light.

We’re happy to announce the new AIDS Health Project (AHP) digital collection. The UCSF AIDS Health Project (AHP) began its HIV/AIDS education, prevention, and counseling efforts in 1984 with support from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). It grew out of a community commitment to respond and treat itself.

AHP staff and volunteers conducted research and provided mental health counseling, crisis intervention, HIV testing, youth outreach, and social services. Additionally, AHP provided HIV/AIDS training to mental health and other healthcare providers.

AHP implemented innovative programs and developed literature aimed at youth, gay men, minority communities, and other groups. AHP changed its name from the AIDS Health Project to the Alliance Health Project in 2013, expanding its mission to explicitly include the health and wellness of LGBTQ people. Check out their current work at ucsf-ahp.org.

You can view the complete AHP digital collection on Calisphere. To research the AHP records in person, please make an appointment with us.

Digital Collection of Selma Dritz, Epidemiologist and AIDS Researcher

We’ve started work on our NHPRC grant project, “Evolution of San Francisco’s Response to a Public Health Crisis: Providing Access to New AIDS History Collections.” Throughout the project, I’ll be posting regular updates on Brought to Light.

For our first installment, we’re highlighting the new digital collection of Selma Dritz. Selma K. Dritz, MD, MPH, served as Assistant Director of the Bureau of Communicable Disease Control and Chief of the Division of Occupational Health of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) from 1967-1984. She played a seminal role in the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the San Francisco Bay Area, tracking cases and collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UCSF to help establish the etiology and epidemiology of the disease. She worked to educate gay and straight people about AIDS and its prevention.

The digital collection includes photographs, correspondence, research, ephemera, and other selected material.

The Dritz papers in part document the relationships Dritz cultivated with other physicians, researchers, and community advocates. For instance, during her tenure at SFDPH, Dritz developed a close working relationship with Randy Shilts, author of And the Band Played On, a groundbreaking work that chronicled the early years of the AIDS epidemic. The digital collection includes thank you cards Shilts wrote to Dritz and the program for Shilts’s memorial service and Dritz’s handwritten notes she prepared for it following his death in 1994.

To view the Dritz digital collection, visit Calisphere.org. There you can also view other digitized material from collections in the AIDS History Project, including the San Francisco AIDS Foundation records and AIDS Ephemera collection.

If you would like to research the Dritz papers (MSS 2009-04), please make an appointment with us.

NHPRC awarded a grant to UCSF Archives and Special Collections

NHPRC logo

UCSF Archives and Special Collections (A&SC) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a 2016 National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) grant from the National Archives in support of the project, Evolution of San Francisco’s Response to a Public Health Crisis: Providing Access to New AIDS History Collections, an expansion of the AIDS History Project (AHP).

The project will greatly expand the historical record of San Francisco’s broad-based response to the AIDS public health crisis, and make discoverable and accessible by a wide audience a new corpus of materials related to the evolution of that response. These collections reveal breakthroughs in containing the AIDS epidemic and treating AIDS patients that were made possible by the collaborative efforts of educators, researchers, clinicians, and community advocates. The collections included in this grant are interconnected and form a unique body of research materials.

Dr. Selma Dritz, ca. 1982. MSS 2001-04.

The $86,258 award will aid in creating and making accessible detailed finding aids for seven recently acquired collections comprising a total of 373 linear feet. These collections range from the research files of science writer Laurie Garrett and the papers of Drs. Don Francis and John Greenspan of UCSF and Selma Dritz of San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, to the records of two UCSF entities, the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and the AIDS Health Project, and files from the early and pioneering publication AIDS Treatment News, produced by community activist John James. Diverse audiences will benefit from having access to the archival collections comprising this new project. They include scholars and students in disciplines such as history, literature, medicine, jurisprudence, journalism, and sociology,and members of the general public pursuing individual areas of interest, especially younger members of the GLBT community who seek a better understanding of this important period in history.

A small portion of the collections will be digitized and made accessible online. This 18-month project will commence on March 1, 2017.

A&SC would like to thank the National Historical Publications & Records Commission, the UCSF AIDS Research Institute, the California Historical Records Advisory Board, and other supporters for their help with this proposal.

About UCSF Archives & Special Collections
The mission of the UCSF Archives & Special Collections is to identify, collect, organize, interpret, and maintain rare and unique material to support research and teaching of the health sciences and medical humanities and to preserve institutional memory.

Please contact Polina Ilieva, Head of UCSF Archives & Special Collections with questions about this award.

Download a copy of the press release ArchivesJan2017_NHPRC_grant.