Once again we contributed to the New York Academy of Medicine’s #ColorOurCollections. We’ve created a coloring book featuring images from our collection of Japanese woodblock prints. Please download the book, color, and tweet your creations @ucsf_archives using #ColorOurCollections.
By Erin Hurley, User Services and Accessioning Archivist
We are currently more than halfway through Black History Month, a month that takes on special significance this year, following a summer of protests asserting, yet again, that Black Lives Matter. Archives & Special Collections would be remiss if we failed to mention the groundbreaking Black faculty at UCSF, both past and present, who have made significant contributions to the fields of medicine and psychology (as well as many others), and, who, in their work, have found ways to illuminate new facets of racism previously unconsidered and who, on their paths to success, have also sought to support and lift up others.
Mindy Thompson Fullilove is a social psychiatrist who served as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) from 1983 until 1990. Her work sits at the intersection of mental health and public health, and she focuses, in her own description, on the “sources and consequences of inequality, with a focus on the American city,” including segregation, gentrification, and the impact of these forces on the mental and physical health of Black families.  She is the author of numerous books, including The Black Family: Mental Health Perspectives and Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It. Most recently, she has co-edited a volume titled From Enforcers to Guardians: A Public Health Primer on Ending Police Violence. In 2018, she gave a TED talk which gives an overview of her work and her personal history and outlines her hopes for achieving equality.
Eritrean surgeon Haile T. Debas has, many times over, served as an example of what Black leadership can look like, and has shown how it can benefit others in a variety of ways. Debas, who came to UCSF in 1987 to serve as the Chair of the Department of Surgery, specializes in gastrointestinal physiology. During his time as Chair, UCSF “became one of the country’s leading centers for transplant surgery, the training of young surgeons, and basic and clinical research in surgery.” He then went on to serve as the Dean of the School of Medicine for 10 years, from 1993-2003. In 1997, he was appointed as the 7th Chancellor of UCSF, a position that he agreed to hold for one year while also serving as Dean of the School of Medicine.
Debas, in his long and distinguished career, has demonstrated a commitment to serving underserved areas, from his work in the Yukon Territories, where he practiced surgery early in his career, to a long-held dream of establishing a medical school in Eritrea. It was this commitment that led him to establish, in 2009, the UC Global Health Institute, which sought to leverage the expertise and resources of all ten UC campuses to address global health issues, which he says are “so big that single disciplines can’t tackle them.” He also served as Executive Director of UCSF Global Health Sciences (GHS), established in 2003, which focuses on issues like diseases of poverty, chronic illnesses, and the global threat posed by certain infectious diseases, like COVID-19.
His work in global health has informed his support for women’s empowerment movements, and he notes, “In global health, women’s empowerment is the critical element—nothing will be accomplished to a successful end without women’s support.” Debas also established the UCSF Department of Surgery’s Haile T. Debas Diversity Fellowship for Fourth Year Medical Students, which offers fourth year medical students a sub-internship in the Department of Surgery, as well as a $2,500 stipend. Debas appears often in Archives & Special Collections materials, as a part of the Office of the Dean’s records, as well as in the Global Health Sciences records and the Oral History collection.
 “Faculty – Mindy Fullilove,” The New School Milano, accessed February 18, 2021, https://www.newschool.edu/milano/faculty/mindy-fullilove/.
 “Haile Debas, MD,” UCSF Department of Surgery, accessed February 18, 2021, https://surgery.ucsf.edu/faculty/general-surgery/haile-debas,-md.aspx.
 Rachel Cox, “10 years, 10 campuses, one trailblazing career: Haile Debas reflects on UCGHI,” November 5, 2019, https://ucghi.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/10-years-10-campuses-one-trailblazing-career-haile-debas-reflects-ucghi.
 Alexi Callen, “UCSF Department of Surgery Accepting Applications for 2020 Haile T. Debas Diversity Fellowship for Fourth Year Medical Students,” April 21, 2020, https://surgery.ucsf.edu/news-events/ucsf-news.aspx?id=84895/UCSF Department of Surgery Accepting Applications for 2020 Haile T. Debas Diversity Fellowship for Fourth Year Medical Students.
Over the past three decades, UCSF Archives & Special Collections has played a vital role in documenting the AIDS epidemic.
We are seeking your help to maintain and grow the AIDS History Project (AHP) archive as a critical, one-of-a-kind public record of the institutions and individuals involved in containing and treating the HIV both locally, and worldwide.
Please help support the UCSF AIDS History Project. We are hoping you will donate today and help us raise $50,000 by 2/1/2020 – please take a moment to do it now.
Your generosity advances vital work to collect, preserve, and provide universal access to stories of the AIDS epidemic.
35 years have passed since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and many of the original researchers, health care providers, and community activists who were on the front lines of defense against HIV have now begun to retire from public service. There is an urgent need to collect, preserve, and provide open access to their collections.
Your support will allow us to:
- Catalog and digitize recently acquired collections, including, papers of Drs. Jay Levy and Steven G. Deeks, SF AIDS Foundation records
- Record a new set of oral histories with clinicians, researchers, pharmaceutical and biotech scientists, health care workers, activists, community members, patients, and their family members
- Expand the AIDS History Project statewide scope, solicit and acquire material fro regional community health centers
- Organize exhibits and public events to share materials and stories preserved in the archives
UCSF Archives & Special Collections team
This is a guest post by Cristina Nigro, UCSF History of Health Sciences graduate student and curator of the UCSF Archives WWI exhibit.
Each year on the last Monday of May, our nation commemorates U.S. service members from all wars who died while on active duty. On this Memorial Day we pay special homage to the servicemen and women of World War I, as 2017 marks the centennial anniversary of the U.S. entrance into WWI.
Dr. Elbridge Best, graduate of the UC Medical School class of 1911 who later joined the UCSF faculty, served in WWI at Base Hospital No. 30 in Royat, France. Base Hospital No. 30 was organized by the UC Medical School in March 1917—the month before President Woodrow Wilson asked a joint session of Congress to request a declaration of war with Germany. In a 1964 interview, Best recalled the early mobilization effort by him and his colleagues who “felt that the war was imminent” and who “were a little concerned with regard to the possible slowness of the White House deciding to declare war.”
Before leaving for the front, Best was put to work in the aviation unit established in San Francisco. He helped to medically examine applicants for the aviation corps in the summer and fall of 1917. Best was later transferred from the aviation unit to the Presidio in San Francisco. There, he “did regular duty until the mobilization of the Base Hospital 30 in November when we then stopped our other activities, lived as a unit until the transportation was arranged and we boarded the ship at Fort Mason to proceed down the west coast.”
The unit arrived in New York harbor in March 1918, staying at Camp Merritt for about a month before embarking on the journey abroad. Best recalled his experience with an influenza epidemic in New York at the time: “Many of the Army men were taken to the Rockefeller hospital for treatment. And each of the cases where fluid was found in the chest the procedure was to immediately insert a needle and draw the fluid. It became very evident that whenever we saw this done we would say to a friend that we will see this body in the morgue the next morning. So many of these boys died following the removal of the acute fluid that when we went to France we made it a rule never to draw any fluid off until after we were sure there was frank pus and it should be treated surgically. The result was that we lost none of those cases which were the cause of the high mortality at the Rockefeller hospital.”
The staff of Base Hospital No. 30 arrived in Royat, France in May 1918. Best remembered that casualties were sent to the hospital soon after the unit arrived: “They came almost as soon as we had most of our material unpacked….The casualties from the front came down to us on trains, Red Cross trains, arranged with beds. And we removed the patients from the trains by way of the windows ordinarily. The one train was full of gas injuries, phosgene and mustard gas. Another trainload came all shot-up which the debridement had been done at the front. These trains ordinarily did not have mixed cases—they were usually all of one type—and they usually contained from four to five hundred wounded at a time.”
Best recalled suddenly learning of the armistice on November 11, 1918: “Everybody was elated and as soon as the evening meal was over on that day, all of those who were not on duty went the three kilometer distance to Clermont-Ferrand to celebrate this notable event…After the armistice, some of us had the privilege of visiting French families in various country areas…We would go and have tea with a certain family or we would have dinner with some people or they would have a reception in which French and American people in the vicinity would appear. I am particularly reminded of one French family we visited in a lovely, old-style two story wooden home on a farm…These people spoke no English and we had to converse in French. And the philosophy, the problems, the day-by- day incidents that these people would gossip with us about were exactly the same as those that we would encounter among families in similar positions in the United States. The only difference between these delightful people and the people in our homes were that they spoke French and we spoke English.”None of the doctors, nurses, or dentists from UCSF who served their country during the Great War died in active duty, but all have since passed on. UCSF Archives and the UCSF History of Health Sciences Graduate Program honor their legacy with an exhibit, “DO THE BEST FOR OUR SOLDIERS”: University of California Medical Service in World War I, on display now on the main floor of the UCSF Library, 530 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, through April 2018. It is free and open to the public during Library hours.
This season’s issue of UCSF Magazine, Fall 2013, includes a story inspired by a photograph in our collection and features an audio clip from one of our oral histories.
This compelling photograph (which, despite appearances, is not a scene from a sci-fi movie) depicts Dr. Robert Stone with the machine he created, the 70MeV electron synchroton. The synchrotron was a type of particle accelerator used to treat cancer patients with radiation from 1956 to 1964. Stone’s work contributed greatly to the safe clinical use of radiation.
The article in UCSF Magazine goes on to elaborate on Stone’s impact here at UCSF and on the wider medical community. The online version of the article also highlights a clip of Stone’s oral history, OH 23, taken in 1964. Be sure to check it out to hear Stone’s story in his own words!
You can read more about Stone’s role in the history of Radiation Oncology at UCSF from 1928-1962 here.
You may know that the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education here at UCSF is an internationally respected collaborative effort dedicated to reducing deaths associated with tobacco and the tobacco industry, conducting research in the areas of how to treat tobacco addiction, the effects of second hand smoke, and other tobacco-related topics. The Center works closely with the UCSF Library on the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library to collect and preserve documents created by major tobacco companies related to their advertising, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and scientific research activities. Our next activity together? Processing the UCSF Tobacco Control Oral History Collection – interviews with 150 physicians, epidemiologists, public health officials, community-based activists and educators, lobbyists and policy makers – all working in the area of tobacco control.
An interview with Stanton Glantz, Ph.D. Center Director and the American Legacy Foundation Distinguished Professor of Tobacco Control at UCSF revealed that the Oral History project, conducted between 1994-2001, was an integral part of his National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded project to travel to 24 states and complete detailed histories of tobacco control policymaking and efforts by the tobacco industry to thwart these policies. As Dr. Glantz and members of his research group travelled the country, they found key informants and recorded the interviews that would become part of this collection. In part, these interviews helped inform the resulting Reports on State Tobacco Policy Making. And the project goes on. As state reports are continually researched, written and published, more interviews with individuals who can shed particular light on political activities and state tobacco control programs are conducted and recorded.
So, check back here next month to see how you can find out what is available, and how you can access and listen to this collection of cassette tapes!
UCSF Archives intern and student at San José State University, School of Library and Information Science concentrating in Archival Studies and Records Management
During 2013 fall semester the UCSF Archives is hosting two interns:
René is a 5th semester student at San José State University, School of Library and Information Science concentrating in Archival Studies and Records Management. She has an A.B. in Political Science from Brown University, and is making a career change after many years of working with low-income children and families in the not-for-profit sector. She also works part-time as the librarian at Escuela Bilingüe Internacional in Oakland, California. While learning archival theory and practice, René will work on processing the Tobacco Control Oral History Collection. She will also help us survey, arrange, and create an inventory for the UCSF Oral History Collection.
Jesse is currently a senior at the University of San Francisco majoring in History with emphasis in Latin America and the United States. He is originally from Los Angeles and has lived there most of his life before coming to school here in the Bay Area. After he graduates from USF, Jesse is planning to apply to either medical school or a master’s program in Public Health, he still hasn’t decided. Jesse selected the UCSF Archives for his USF History Internship. This internship program is designed to be an opportunity for undergraduate history majors to learn about the many ways that history is practiced “in the real world.” Jesse will help us with several projects, including organizing University Relations audio-visual collection and preparing descriptions for the rare books identified for preservation program.
In the past year we have revived a long-standing tradition of providing a space to learn new skills and gain professional experience working in established archives to undergraduate and graduate students from the Bay Area colleges. We are excited that these two hard-working interns joined our team, please be on a look out for their dispatches from archives.
Bob Day: An Oral History
When Robert (Bob) Day retired from UCSF in 2012, his legacy could be measured not only in the number of years of service, students taught, and jokes cracked but also in pounds, volume, and linear feet. Readers of this blog know from recent posts that Bob Day was an inveterate collector of material related to the history of pharmacy in general and the UCSF School of Pharmacy in particular, and the material he accumulated over his 50 years with the university was donated to the UCSF Library’s Archives and Special Collections. The materials processed by archivists totaled 40 linear feet, over 45 boxes, and an untold number of individual items. You might be asking yourself, what does all of this material tell us? What is its significance? And what kind of person would be compelled to collect all of these items?
All of those questions were asked – and many of them answered – in a long, detailed, interesting, and rollicking oral history interview I conducted with Bob in the first three months of 2013. In partnership with the UCSF School of Pharmacy and the UCSF Library’s Archives and Special Collections, the Regional Oral History Office of the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley planned and conducted this interview. In all, a little over 12 hours of interviews were committed to videotape, which were then transcribed, edited, and, now, made available to you here: http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/roho/ucb/text/day_bob_public.pdf.
What transpired in those dozen hours? Continue reading
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.
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
In April of 2013 the UCSF Archives unveiled recently acquired Robert L. Day collection documenting the history of the School of Pharmacy. This project included not only arrangement and processing of the collection, but also preservation and restoration of damaged oversized photographs, digitization, design and creation of a companion digital portal, physical and online exhibits, oral history and organization of events to showcase the history of the School. It was successfully accomplished as a result of the close cooperation between the School’s leadership and the Library. With the approval and continuing personal involvement of the dean, B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD., the School of Pharmacy provided generous support and funded the hiring of a part-time processing archivist for a period of six months, digitization of brittle scrapbooks and photographs, work of a photo conservator, and an oral historian.
In the next couple of weeks we will bring to your attention entries written by the participants of this project…