Celebrating International Archives Week

This week, we join the International Council on Archives and colleagues around the world in celebrating archives and their role in empowering knowledge societies. Against a pervasive backdrop of disinformation, manipulated facts, and extreme prejudice which has fostered such horrific pain and suffering in our world, we recognize the value of archives and all those who uphold truth, accountability, and justice.

Archives perform an essential function as keepers of the records of evidence of human activities and experience. They directly encourage the creation of knowledge, the affirmation of the histories and identities of individuals and communities, and the transparency and accountability of government and other entities of power. Archives are not dusty enclaves of archaic knowledge for the privileged; they are living repositories of information which should reflect our societies, our decisions, and our lived experience. To celebrate archives is to celebrate a record of human progress, and to celebrate our collective ability to scrutinize and call out disparities and injustices embedded in that progress.

The theme of this year’s International Archives Week is Empowering Knowledge Societies. The concept of a “knowledge society” emerged from work first attributed to the management theorist Peter Drucker in the 1960s, and by the 1990s was being defined and contrasted against the idea of an “information society” as the proliferation of technologies like the internet and World Wide Web increased the production and spread of data. A crucial difference is that an information society is one which simply creates and disseminates raw data, often relying on technological innovation; a knowledge society is one which can study and evaluate that data in context to create knowledge which informs action.  

UNESCO declares that “knowledge societies must build on four pillars: freedom of expression; universal access to information and knowledge; respect for cultural and linguistic diversity; and quality education for all.” These principles are echoed in the code of ethics of archives and library organizations, including the International Council on Archives, the Society of American Archivists, and the American Library Association.

Beyond our validation and promotion of these principles, archives and libraries must design our workflows and services to actively enable and empower these pillars of knowledge societies. Here at UCSF Archives & Special Collections, we strive to empower knowledge societies by providing open access to our collections, to the greatest extent possible, to all users, regardless of location or affiliation. We practice collection development which is aware and inclusive of diverse cultures and communities in the history of the health sciences, and we work to amplify voices which have historically been silenced or marginalized. We preserve evidence of harmful activities in industries which influence public health to enable researchers, policymakers, and members of the public to thoroughly investigate these sources and determine the best course of action to protect the health of our communities and our environment.

In 2005 UNESCO published a World Report titled Towards Knowledge Societies to lay out the global benefits of building knowledge societies, and the challenges many countries face in reaching that goal. The report emphasizes that “knowledge has not only become one of the keys to economic development; it also contributes to human development and individual empowerment. In this sense, knowledge is a source of power because it creates a capacity for action.”

We continue to work towards empowering knowledge societies through archives, to enable the action that’s urgently needed to address the systemic inequalities, racism, violence and injustice threatening the lives of people of color and the future of our communities worldwide. We are committed to building this capacity in partnership with and in awareness of the histories and experiences of all people, in respect and solidarity.  

Announcing the UCSF Food Industry Documents Archive

Image of a grocery store aisle with packaged foods.

The UCSF Archives and Special Collections and Industry Documents Library (IDL) are pleased to announce the launch of the Food Industry Documents Archive, a brand new collection of over 30,000 documents related to the food industry and its impact on public health. These documents, available online for the first time, highlight marketing, research, and policy strategies used by food companies and trade groups, and reveal the communications and connections between industry, academic, and regulatory organizations.

The Food Industry Documents Archive was created in collaboration with the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and officially unveiled during the inaugural symposium on November 15, 2018. A full recording of the symposium can be viewed here.

The Food Industry Documents were digitized and made available online through partnerships with other libraries, archives, and related organizations, bringing together historical and contemporary materials to support inquiry into long-standing industry practices.

Topics include the Sugar Research Foundation, the International Sugar Research Foundation, the Sugar Institute, cane sugar and beet sugar production, sugar-sweetened beverages, sugared snack foods advertised to children, the U.S. Public Health Service, and the National Research Council and Food and Nutrition Board.

These documents have been used as the source for a number of publications including:

The Food Industry Documents Archive collection joins the existing Tobacco, Drug, and Chemical Industry Documents collections, allowing users to search across industries and identify common tactics used to sway scientific research, shape public opinion, and influence policies and regulations meant to protect public health.

Read the full announcement and be sure to visit the UCSF Industry Documents Library to view the new Food Industry Documents collections.

Finding Aids to the Eric L. Berne Papers now available on the Online Archive of California

Detailed finding aids for the six collections of Eric L. Berne Papers are now available for researchers to examine on the Online Archive of California. These collection guides provide an in-depth look at the work and writings of Eric L. Berne, M.D. (1910-1970), a San Francisco-based psychiatrist, UCSF lecturer, best-selling author, and father of the theory of Transactional Analysis (TA).

Each finding aid provides a full description of the collection, including dates, background information, scope and content, extent, type of materials, any access restrictions, and a complete box and folder list. The finding aids are all full-text searchable. They can be accessed through the UCSF Archives and Special Collections page or via the Online Archive of California. The following guides have been published:

Eric L. Berne Papers, 1939-1973, MSS 82-0

This accession primarily contains photographs and reel-to-reel audiotape recordings of lectures and meetings of the San Francisco Social Psychiatry Seminars, an organization founded by Berne.

Eric L. Berne Papers, 1931-1970, MSS 89-12

This accession contains a significant portion of correspondence, writings, records of the San Francisco Social Psychiatry Seminars (later the International Transactional Analysis Association), and military psychiatry records.

Eric L. Berne Papers, 1933-1971, MSS 2003-12

This accession primarily contains writings, notes and lectures.

Eric L. Berne Papers, 1929-1970, MSS 2005-08

This accession includes records of Berne’s medical school education, military service, and travels, as well as a significant amount of writings and audio recordings.

Eric L. Berne Papers, 1963-1970, MSS 2013-18

This accession contains 7 recorded lectures by Eric Berne and 44 audiocassettes from the International Transactional Analysis Association Tape Library.

Eric L. Berne Papers, 1904-2007, MSS 2013-19

This large accession includes early personal correspondence, diaries, travel ephemera, educational files, writings, photographs, and artifacts.

These collections are open for research and can be viewed in the UCSF Archives reading room. Please visit this page to make an appointment or contact an archivist: http://www.library.ucsf.edu/collections/archives/access

Digitization work on these collections is progressing quickly. Check back soon for updates on the Eric L. Berne Digital Collection!

Detailed processing and digitization for the Eric L. Berne Papers was made possible by generous support from 17 TA Associations worldwide and many individual donors through the International Transactional Analysis Association.

New Additions to the Eric Berne Collections

The Eric L. Berne Collection grew by another 8.5 linear feet a few weeks ago, when additional records arrived at Special Collections. The International Transactional Analysis Association (ITAA) and the Berne family have generously placed a large collection of Eric Berne’s early papers and educational records on deposit with UCSF for public research and use. The ITAA has also donated a collection of audio recordings of Berne’s Transactional Analysis lectures and of San Francisco Social Psychiatry Seminar meetings (1963-1970). This new accession in particular documents Berne’s medical school education at McGill University in Montreal and his early career as a psychiatrist. It also includes more of his professional and creative writings in several languages, and contains fascinating ephemera from his frequent research trips around the world.

Berne's ticket to travel in Turkey, 1938

Berne’s ticket to travel in Turkey, 1938

Photograph page of Berne's ticket to travel in Turkey, 1938

Photograph page of Berne’s ticket to travel in Turkey, 1938

Three-dimensional objects are represented as well, such as an original version of the board game based on Berne’s bestselling book Games People Play.

Board game based on Berne's bestselling book "Games People Play"

This collection will be processed in the next several weeks and linked to other rich materials in the related Berne collections. Online finding aids to these materials are coming soon.


Eric Berne Rare Book Inventory Completed

The Eric L. Berne collection includes over 300 rare books from Berne’s personal library. Published between 1829 and 1984, these volumes illustrate Berne’s study of medicine, psychology, philosophy, folklore, and therapeutic techniques, as well as his published work. The researcher will find medical textbooks from Berne’s student days at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, practical manuals from psychiatric clinics and hospitals, popular “self-help” books of the 1950s and 1960s, and weighty tomes on psychoanalysis by major thinkers like Freud, Erikson, and Federn. Many books are underlined and annotated in Berne’s handwriting.

Cover of Berne's medical school textbook "The Autonomic Functions and the Personality" by Dr. Edward J. Kempf, 1921

Cover of Berne’s medical school textbook “The Autonomic Functions and the Personality” by Dr. Edward J. Kempf, 1921

Berne's annotations in "The Autonomic Functions and the Personality"

Berne’s annotations in “The Autonomic Functions and the Personality”

The collection also includes copies of Berne’s published works. His 1964 best-seller Games People Play was translated into nearly twenty different languages, and the Italian, German, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Hebrew, Chinese, Norwegian, and Dutch editions are represented on the shelves. Working copies and first editions of The Mind in Action, A Layman’s Guide to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis, The Structure and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups, Principles of Group Therapy, Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy: A Systematic Individual and Social Psychiatry, and What Do You Say After You Say Hello? are available, as well as works by other contemporary and later practitioners of Transactional Analysis.

Cover of Dutch edition of Games People Play (Mens erger je niet)

Cover of Dutch edition of Games People Play (Mens erger je niet)

The rare book collection will soon be searchable through the UCSF Library catalog, and is available to researchers in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room.

Eric Berne Papers Processing Project Now Underway

A new project to process the manuscripts and personal papers of Eric Berne, bestselling author of Games People Play and the founder of the Transactional Analysis approach to psychotherapy, is now underway. The project will produce detailed collection guides and provide online access to significant records of Berne’s life and work.

A Canadian-born psychiatrist who settled in San Francisco and Carmel, CA, Eric Berne developed his theory of Transactional Analysis (TA) to augment the traditional thinking of psychiatrists and to provide better mental health care to individuals and groups. He viewed social interactions as basic exchanges, or “transactions” between people, who acted from one of three ego-states (Parent, Adult, or Child) in order to get what they want. Berne termed these common transactions “games” and analyzed them using frank and often humorous titles like “Why Does This Always Happen to Me” (WAHM) and “Let’s You and Him Fight” (LYAHF). When Games People Play was published in 1964, it sold over 2 million copies and spent 111 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Cover of 1966 British edition of "Games People Play"

Cover of 1966 British edition of “Games People Play”

In addition to his writing career and his private practices in Carmel and in San Francisco, Berne ran popular Tuesday evening seminars from his home and consulted with psychiatrists in the United States and around the world. He founded the International Transactional Analysis Association in 1964 to connect TA practitioners and to provide continuing education through lectures, conferences, and publications.

Berne also gave lectures at UCSF’s Langley-Porter Psychiatric Institute during the 1960s. He was the headliner for the 1966 Jake Gimbel Sex Psychology Lecture series, and later turned his material into another major book (Sex in Human Loving).

Postcard for the 1966 Jake Gimbel Sex Psychology Lectures at UCSF

Postcard for the 1966 Jake Gimbel Sex Psychology Lectures at UCSF

Thanks to the recently received gift, several different collections of Berne’s papers will now be preserved and organized for researchers and visitors. As a first step, we’re surveying the 26 boxes and cartons of material and have already uncovered original drafts of Berne’s writings, travel diaries, and letters from major figures like Gertrude Stein and Alfred Kinsey, as well as from hundreds of Berne’s fans and fellow practitioners.

For more information about the International Transactional Analysis Association’s Eric Berne Archives project, please visit http://www.ericbernearchives.org/. And stay tuned for further updates on this fascinating collection!

Robert L. Day Collection: Anatomy of an Archival Project – Part 2

A Processing Prescription for School of Pharmacy History

Have you visited the 5th floor of the UCSF Library lately? If so, you might have seen the latest UCSF Archives and Special Collections exhibit featuring items from the new Robert L. Day Collection. With photographs, scrapbooks, letters, books, and dozens of curious artifacts, the collection illustrates School of Pharmacy history from 1872 to the present day.

When School of Pharmacy Associate Dean Robert Day retired after a distinguished 50-year career at UCSF, his office was bursting at the seams with historical items he had collected. From 19th-century faculty meeting minutes to recent academic plans and reports, from the School’s 1873 Inaugural Address to the research that pioneered the Clinical Pharmacy Program in 1966, his collection tells the story of more than a century of education and innovation in pharmacy practice at UCSF.

Show globes containing colored liquid were displayed in shop windows to identify the business as a pharmacy or drug store. This show globe belonged to Otto A. Weihe (1896-1961), an alumnus and instructor of the California College of Pharmacy. It contains the original colored liquid used by Weihe family when the globe was  installed in the Modesto, CA pharmacy in 1911.

Show globes containing colored liquid were displayed in shop windows to identify the business as a pharmacy or drug store. This show globe belonged to Otto A. Weihe (1896-1961), an alumnus and instructor of the California College of Pharmacy. It contains the original colored liquid used by Weihe family when the globe was installed in the Modesto, CA pharmacy in 1911. Robert L. Day Collection, MSS 2011-23, UCSF Archives & Special Collections.

In addition to papers and photographs, Professor Day gathered enormous pharmacy ledgers containing prescriptions from the 1930s and 1940s, reels of 16mm film and audio tapes, and curious artifacts like a liquid-filled glass show globe. He generously donated these materials to the UCSF Library in 2012.

I joined the Archives and Special Collections staff from November 2012-May 2013 as a Project Archivist to process the Day collection and to prepare it for research and exhibit use. It was fascinating to peruse items like 19th-century textbooks from “Materia Medica” courses and to examine boxes of patent medicines for ailments like “dyspepsia” and “pleurisy.” I cataloged leather-bound volumes of faculty meeting minutes and reviewed letters from dozens of alumni recounting colorful stories of their early-twentieth-century student days and later careers. (A complete collection description and research guide is available on the Online Archive of California.) Continue reading