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Archives as Data

This guide provides an overview of archival collections datasets (“Archives as Data”), primarily that made available by UCSF Archives and Special Collections, including guidance for accessing and using such data.

AIDS History Project Collections: No More Silence Dataset

Materials comprising the AIDS History Project Collections are diverse, ranging from handwritten correspondence and notebooks to typed and printed correspondence and agency records to ephemera, printed magazines, and books. Descriptions of all of the archival collections included in the AIDS History Project can be found here. Many materials from the collections included in the AIDS History Project have been digitized and can be found in Calisphere, a gateway to finding and using digital collection materials.

The No More Silence project includes a significant subset of materials from the AIDS History Project Collections, drawn from nineteen digital collections and representing # files which have been compiled, prepared, and made available as a dataset. The No More Silence dataset is open for research, providing direct computational access to historical documentation of the San Francisco Bay Area’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In the cases where collection materials are subject to restriction, and have consequently been withheld from the dataset or redacted, this is noted in the descriptions below.

  • This dataset includes both structured data (metadata describing individual digital files, which are most often digitized collection folder contents) and unstructured data (most often, this is OCR’ed full text derived from digitized items) from multiple collections combined into a single delimited data files (both .csv and .tsv files are available). OCR is uncleaned so quality can vary and is not likely to represent text with complete precision and accuracy.
  • The dataset files can be downloaded and include digitized source files (most often PDFs, though some TIFFs are also included). Note that the download package is large so may take some time to download and will need to be decompressed and extracted prior to use.

The No More Silence dataset of primarily textual and image data represents nearly 200,000 pages of archival documents and associated archival metadata from the following AIDS History Project collections:

  • ACT-UP Golden Gate Records

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 98-47). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (20 items, many of which include multiple pages; not all are included in the No More Silence dataset). Copyright for ACT-UP Golden Gate materials has been assigned to the UCSF Library. Copyright for other materials has not been assigned to the Library.

Records of AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP) Golden Gate, a group formed out of ACT-UP San Francisco, dated 1988–1993. Material relates, among other topics, to the 6th International AIDS Conference and Treatment Issues Committee which was held in San Francisco in June of 1990. There are also materials about the 5th and 7th conferences and materials from ACT-UP Golden Gate's Treatment Issues Committee. Though donated by and named after ACT-UP Golden Gate, a significant portion of the materials are from 1990 and earlier, before ACT-UP Golden Gate separated from ACT-UP San Francisco, in September of that year. 

  • AIDS History Project -- Ephemera Collection

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 2000-31). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (72 items many of which include visual content, some of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset.

This is an artificial collection assembled from a number of different donations of ephemeral materials, acquired by the UCSF Library as a part of the AIDS History Project. Paper based materials include flyers, brochures, wallet cards, and posters from the US and international sources. Some artifacts are also included, such as condoms and condom holders. All deal with the medical and/or social aspects of AIDS and HIV, with a focus on prevention and on addressing misconceptions about the disease. The digital collection is comprised of selections from the larger collection, including 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.

  • AIDS Legal Referral Panel Records

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: 2000-46). This collection in part of the GLBT Historical Society Archives. Digitized selections available in Calisphere (66 items many of which include visual content, many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset).

Records of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, an organization that serves as a significant resource for people with AIDS (PWA) connecting them with volunteer lawyers willing to donate time and expertise in order to assist them. It has been a significant resource for PWA's since its inception. Also Included in this collection are materials from the Women's AIDS Network. These records are potentially useful to researchers investigating subjects related to the subject of the legal rights of HIV positive persons and other legal issues surrounding AIDS. The collection contains ALRP Annual Reports for the years 1987-1991 and subject files that include correspondence, notes, and reports. 

  • AIDS Treatment News Records

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 94-28). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (39 items, many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset). Privacy restrictions are noted at the series and/or folder level. This collection will be reviewed for sensitive content upon request. Contact the UCSF Archivist for information on access to restricted material.Access to records that contain personal and confidential information about an individual or individuals (including AIDS Treatment News mailing list) is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation or until the death of the individual mentioned in the records, whichever is longer.

Selections from the AIDS Treatment News (ATN) records. ATN is a publication created by John S. James that investigates and reports on both conventional and experimental treatments for HIV/AIDS and related social and political issues. It began publication in 1986. The collection includes ATN newsletters and other AIDS-related publications and ephemera, ATN operational records and writings and research by James, correspondence and working files, photographs and slides, and audiovisual material and computer media.

  • Linda Alband Collection of Randy Shilts Materials

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: 2003-09). This collection in part of the GLBT Historical Society Archives. Digitized selections available in Calisphere (231 items, many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset). Collection is open for research with the exception of one letter from Jack Green, which is restricted, and not included in the digital collection, nor the dataset. Contact the Managing Archivist for more information.

The Linda Alband Collection of Randy Shilts materials documents Shilts’ personal and political work, and dates from 1966-1999. Randy Shilts (1951-1994) was a prominent, openly gay journalist and author. A freelance television and newspaper reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area, Shilts covered issues facing local LGBTQ communities, most notably the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Shilts published three books: The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (1982), And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS epidemic (1989), and Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military, Vietnam to the Persian Gulf (1993). Linda Alband, Shilts’ longtime friend and his business manager for the last five-and-a-half years of his life, assembled the materials in the collection during Shilts’ life and after his death, working to preserve his legacy.  

  • Bay Area HIV Support and Education Services Records

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 93-18). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (77 items, many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset).

Bay Area HIV Support and Education Services (BAHSES) provided counseling, education, and advocacy to a multicultural population at risk of, or having, HIV infection. BAHSES was located at 625 O'Farrell, and though some clients came from elsewhere in the city, they were primarily residents of the nearby Tenderloin and Polk districts and the lower Nob Hill area. Most were people of color with limited incomes. The collection includes documentation of planning processes, meeting minutes, client survey files, facilitators manuals, activity reports, correspondence, and other materials produced by this nonprofit AIDS education organization. 

  • Marcus A. Conant Papers

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 98-39). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (62 items, many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset). 

Marcus A. Conant, M.D., professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, led San Francisco's first coordinated medical response to the AIDS epidemic. Conant also had a large private practice in San Francisco, and in April 1981 he documented two local cases of Kaposi's sarcoma in young, apparently healthy, gay men. This collection contains correspondence, speeches, newspaper clippings, conference materials and other administrative and publicity materials relating to the UCSF Kaposi's Sarcoma (K-S) Clinic, the AIDS epidemic, and AIDS research as pursued by Dr. Marcus Conant. Materials from the K-S (later San Francisco AIDS) Foundation, and other organizations associated with Dr. Conant, are also included.

  • Selma Dritz Papers

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 2009-04). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (51 items, many of which include multiple pages; not all are included in the No More Silence dataset). UCSF Archives and Special Collections policy places access restrictions on material with privacy issues for a specific time period from the date of creation. Restrictions are noted at the folder level of the finding aid and restricted materials have been excluded from the digital collection and No More Silence dataset. This collection will be reviewed for sensitive content upon request. Contact the UCSF Archivist for information on access to restricted material.

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 from 1967-1984. She played a seminal role in the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the San Francisco Bay Area. This collection includes material predominantly related to HIV/AIDS, including correspondence, research and educational materials, publications and clippings, and conference and lecture materials. 

  • Donald P. Francis Papers

​​​​​​Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 2015.01). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (38 items, many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset).

Donald P. Francis (1942-) is an epidemiologist and pediatrician with extensive experience in vaccines and infectious disease control, including work with Ebola, smallpox, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS. The collection relates to his work at the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other public health organizations and includes travel files, correspondence and subject files, research and patient records, publications, audiovisual material, computer media, and artifacts. 

  • Laurie Garrett Papers

​​​​​​Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 2013.03). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (71 items (from a much larger collection), some of which include visual content or include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset).

Laurie Garrett is a Pulitzer winning science journalist and public health and policy advocate. She has written extensively on global health systems, chronic and infectious diseases, and bioterrorism. This collection documents Garrett's career as a journalist. Material relates to her research concerning chronic and infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, ebola, SARS, avian flu, anthrax, malaria; global health systems; and bio-terrorism. Materials include: journals, newspaper and magazine articles, recorded and film interviews, book reviews, cassette and video discs, correspondence, color and black and white photographs, lecture notes, book manuscript drafts, research notes, related memorabilia and ephemera, awards, produced pieces for broadcast media, and others. 

  • Healing Alternatives Foundation (HAF) Records

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 94-55). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (26 items, many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset).

Healing Alternatives Foundation (HAF) was formed as a "buyer's club" in April of 1987 in direct response to the need for access to treatment information and products. It was founded with the belief that HIV/AIDS can be a treatable, chronic disease requiring both early preventative measures and aggressive treatment of opportunistic infections. That philosophy is accompanied by the conviction that people with HIV should become informed about and involved with their own program of treatment and that treatment options should be both available and affordable. Records of the Healing Alternatives Foundation, including meeting minutes, correspondence, planning documents, publicity, newsletters, design/artwork files, funding sources and strategies.

  • Sally Hughes AIDS Research Collection

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 2001-04). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (21 items, many of which are photographs; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset).

Research materials collected in preparation for AIDS oral histories carried out by Sally Smith Hughes at the Regional Oral History Office of UC Berkeley, 1981-1997. (Learn more about the related AIDS Oral History Project.)

  • Mobilization Against AIDS Records

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 95.03). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (143 items, many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset). 

This collection documents the founding, administration and work of the Mobilization Against AIDS also known as the MOB. MOB was primarily a lobbying organization working against anti-AIDS initiatives and governmental policies, promoting the testing of new AIDS drugs, and generally drawing attention to the AIDS epidemic around the world. They are best known for their AIDS Dance-a-thon fundraiser and the International AIDS Candlelight Vigil outreach activity.

  • Sue Rochman Papers

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: 2005-13). This collection in part of the GLBT Historical Society Archives. Learn more about this collection in this blog postDigitized selections available in Calisphere (3 items, each of which includes multiple pages; all are included in the No More Silence dataset). Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

These files contain the research and notes of journalist Sue Rochman on HIV/AIDS and prison populations. Materials include correspondence from prisoners and prison activists, published articles, reports by government agencies and non-profit organizations, and handwritten notes from interviews, conversations, and readings. Most pertain to prisons in New York, California, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, and Alabama and were created between 1988-1991.  

  • Shanti Project Records

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 98-48). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (59 items, many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset).

This collection contains records relating to the management of the Shanti Project and its programs. The Shanti Project was founded in 1974 by Dr. Charles Garfield, to provide emotional support for people with life-threatening illnesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. The project's focus on one-to-one peer support provided by trained volunteers became a new standard in the care of the terminally ill. The records include materials dating from both before and after the Shanti Project changed its focus from life-threatening illness in general to AIDS exclusively in 1984. Materials range from monthly reports from the program managers to several versions of the Shanti Volunteer Training Manual, showing the program's evolution. 

  • UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) Records

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: AR.2005.15). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (44 items, some of which include visual materials and many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset).

The UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) was established in 1986 to train scientists and stimulate new research projects that impact the practice, theory, and policy of HIV/AIDS prevention and keep pace with the changing epidemic. Many CAPS activities focus on HIV prevention and disparity reduction in ethnic minority communities and the GLBT community and the center’s training and educational programs encourage diversity in science. The CAPS records include reports, meeting and conference materials, correspondence, grant applications, committee and research project materials, and clippings and publications, dated 1984-2004. The digital collection includes selected conference and research project materials, correspondence, publications, and ephemera.

  • UCSF AIDS Health Project (AHP) Records

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: AR.2007.14). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (105 items, a few of which include visual materials and many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset).

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. AHP staff conducted research and provided mental health and social services to youth, gay men, minority communities, drug users, and other populations. The AHP records include administrative and funding materials, working files, publications and ephemera, and audiovisual material, dated 1980-2008. 

  • Women's AIDS Network (WAN) Records

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 95-04). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (92 items, many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset).

The Women's AIDS Network (WAN) was informally established in June of 1983 at the second National AIDS Forum in Denver and was the first women's organization among the community service organizations that sprung up around the AIDS crisis. In March of 1984, women involved in AIDS services in the Bay Area began meeting as a support group. From this initial support group, WAN evolved into an advocacy organization and informational resource, both for women affected by HIV and for the providers who serve them. This collection contains minutes, correspondence, drafts and published articles, bylaws, and other legal documents illustrating the work of the Women's AIDS Network (WAN) from 1986-1992.

  • John L. Ziegler Papers

Finding Aid describing the collection (Call number: MSS 94-18). Digitized selections available in Calisphere (7 items, many of which include multiple pages; the majority are included in the No More Silence dataset).

Dr. Ziegler joined the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) faculty and staff in 1981. At UCSF he served as a professor of medicine and director of the UCSF AIDS Clinical Research Center. In this position he used his knowledge of fast growing tumors in research into Kaposi 's sarcoma and other AIDS related tumors. He also worked at the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) Center for AIDS Research and Education. Dr. Ziegler served as co-chair of the Sixth Annual International AIDS Conference, which was held in San Francisco in 1990. The collection includes correspondence, grant and project proposals, notes, research papers and ephemera connected to Dr. Ziegler's work dealing with AIDS related cancers, particularly Kaposi's Sarcoma.