UCSF Archives & Special Collections awarded grant to archive data, documents, and social media of The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic

UCSF Archives & Special Collections (A&SC) has been awarded a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to compile and archive the data products, public websites, social media, and select internal documents of The COVID Tracking Project (CTP). The project was a citizen-science initiative housed by The Atlantic magazine which tracked COVID data from March 7, 2020 to March 7, 2021. It had a tremendous impact on public, media, scientific, and governmental understanding of and response to the pandemic. This $249,866 grant will help preserve the products and culture of a unique organization created in difficult times.

Products produced by the CTP include testing, outcomes, and hospitalization data that was used by thousands of news organizations and millions of individuals to understand the early phases of the pandemic. The project’s Racial Data Tracker and Long-term Care Tracker highlighted the different ways the pandemic was impacting people of color and residents of nursing homes and similar facilities. Funding from the grant will help ensure these critical datasets are preserved in Dryad and immediately available to researchers in public health.

As an organization that existed only online, archiving the project will require new approaches to storing data from tools like Slack, Github issues, and Google drive. Unlike digital files similar to a Microsoft Word document, data in these tools have multiple levels of interface and context that is not easily preserved. The grant will support developing tools for archiving these rapidly-adopted forms of communication, and making them open source for other archiving projects.

Every datapoint collected by the project was the result of multiple discussions, revisions, and public inquiry. Capturing the entire history of say, the total number of tests in California on November 22, 2020 requires reviewing Slack threads, Github issues, emails, spreadsheet revisions, and unique tools built by tracking project members. The grant will help build a “Data Explorer” that pulls all these disparate metadata into a single web interface for researchers to understand the many contexts around every datapoint collected by the project.

“We’re extremely proud to support a digital preservation project capturing a remarkable record of online collaboration that also provides a unique blueprint for future archiving initiatives,” says Joshua Greenberg, director of the Sloan Foundation’s technology program. “The team is doing more than just creating a rich and valuable repository of a historic moment—it is generating novel and much-needed methods of storing information from modern technology platforms, an approach that will become invaluable as online collaborations increasingly become the norm.”

This 12-month project is being launched in January 2022 and will be overseen by an advisory board composed of former project staff and advisors with backgrounds in data science, medicine, history, and epidemiology. A&SC would like to thank Amanda L. French, Ph.D., former Community Lead at the COVID Tracking Project and other supporters for their help with this proposal. Kevin Miller will serve as an archive lead for this grant project

About the Sloan Foundation

Logo of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a not-for-profit, mission-driven grantmaking institution dedicated to improving the welfare of all through the advancement of scientific knowledge. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in four broad areas: direct support of research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics; initiatives to increase the quality, equity, diversity, and inclusiveness of scientific institutions and the science workforce; projects to develop or leverage technology to empower research; and efforts to enhance and deepen public engagement with science and scientists.

About UCSF Archives & Special Collections

The mission of the UCSF Archives and 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, Associate University Librarian for Collections with questions about this award.

UCSF Black Caucus Records Re-description Project

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This post has been written by Jazmin Dew.

Group photograph of the original Members at the UCSF Black Caucus Gala in February 2005. From left to right are Elba Clemente-Lambert, Charles Clarey, Claudette Coleman, Freeman Bradley, Anitra (Koehler) Patterson, Paul Porter, Leon Johnson, and Walter "Pop" Nelson (sitting).
Founding members at the UCSF Black Caucus Gala in February 2005. From the left to right: Elba Clemente-Lambert, Charles Clarey, Claudette Coleman, Freeman Bradley, Anitra (Koehler) Patterson, Paul Porter, Leon Johnson, and Walter “Pop” Nelson (sitting).

We are thrilled to announce that the UCSF Black Caucus Records digital collection has added and updated descriptions for over 400 items. The collection documents the history of the UCSF Black Caucus, which began in 1968 to address the social inequalities and inequities at the University of California. It contains photographs, videos, correspondence, publications, and meeting materials about the formation and activities of the Black Caucus. Some of the major events held by the UCSF Black Caucus include the protest to end of racism and discrimination at the University of California, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Week and Black History Month programs, in conjunction with other campus organizations including the Women’s Resource Center, and annual Gala fundraisers.

Group photograph of the founding members of the UCSF Black Caucus in December 2013 taken at the Millberry Union following Dr. Daniel Lowenstein’s “Last Lecture Series” at Cole Hall. Standing, left to right, are Bill Stevens, Joseph Lambert, Elba Clemente-Lambert, Michael Adams, Norma Faris Taylor, Dr. John Watson, and Charles Clarey. Sitting, left to right, are Joanne Lewis, Carol Yates, Ethel Adams, Crystal Morris, Karen Newhouse.
Founding members of the UCSF Black Caucus in December 2013 at the Millberry Union following Dr. Daniel Lowenstein’s “Last Lecture Series” at Cole Hall. . Standing, left to right, are Bill Stevens, Joseph Lambert, Elba Clemente-Lambert, Michael Adams, Norma Faris Taylor, Dr. John Watson, and Charles Clarey. Sitting, left to right, are Joanne Lewis, Carol Yates, Ethel Adams, Crystal Morris, Karen Newhouse.

A substantial portion of this incredible collection was complied, preserved, and donated to the archives by Elba Clemente-Lambert. Throughout the recent metadata enrichment project, she has painstakingly researched and provided more detailed descriptions of events and identification of individuals in photographs. Mrs. Clemente-Lambert collaborated with her UCSF colleagues and former Black Caucus members (now retirees) on what became a true crowdsourcing project that couldn’t have been successfully accomplished without her guidance and community support. (We will list the names of all people who supported this project in future blog posts). These additions will enable users to learn about the organization’s history, membership, leadership, and accomplishments.

Elba Clemente-Lambert sitting
Elba Clemente-Lambert

Elba Clemente-Lambert was born and raised in Spanish Harlem in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York. Mrs. Clemente-Lambert received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in Psychology from the City University of New York. She began her career in 1968 at UCSF as a Secretary II in the Department of Neurology. Then, she obtained an on-the-job training position (initiated by the efforts of the UCSF Black Caucus) in the Personnel Department (now Human Resources). Soon after joining the University of California, Elba became one of the founding members of the UCSF Black Caucus. She was elected to various positions in the Black Caucus’ Steering Committee, including Corresponding Secretary and Chair of the Publications Committee, as well as Member-at-Large. However, one of her most important positions was as “the unofficial, but official” photographer. Her passion for photography began in her high school journalism class, which stirred her belief that “we need to document what is occurring in our environment and beyond”. This dedication unintentionally led her to become a historian for the UCSF Black Caucus. Elba worked at UCSF until 1997 when she retired as a Senior Human Resource Specialist. In retirement, Elba continued to work occasionally with the UCSF Black Caucus while involved in the management of Creative Music Emporium (records store), established in April 1985 together with her late husband, first Black Officer hired at UCSF, Joseph G. Lambert, who decided to change his career after serving 18 years to become an entrepreneur in the music industry.   

We would like to express our gratitude to all those who helped make this project possible: Mrs. Clemente-Lambert, Marisa McFarlane, and Charles Macquarie.

To learn more about the current activities of the UCSF Black Caucus, check out this link: https://blackcaucus.ucsf.edu/

To explore more materials from the UCSF Black Caucus Records, check out the collection on digital portal, Calisphere and the Online Archive of California (OAC).

New Digital Material: J. Michael Bishop Digital Collection

UCSF Archives and Special Collections is pleased to announce that the J. Michael Bishop digital collection has new digital material. A total of 500 pages have been added to the collection. The digital collection is available publicly on Calisphere.

Nobel Prize Ceremony. J. Michael Bishop papers, MSS 2007-21, carton 79 , folder 9

J. Michael Bishop, MD, joined the UCSF faculty in 1968. In 1981, Bishop was appointed director of the GW Hooper Research Foundation. In 1989, Bishop and his colleague, Harold E. Varmus, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that growth regulating genes in normal cells can malfunction and initiate the abnormal growth processes of cancer. In 2003, he was awarded the National Medal of Science. On July 1, 1998, J. Michael Bishop became eighth chancellor of UCSF.

J. Michael Bishop Nobel Lecture and Slides. J. Michael Bishop papers, MSS 2007-21, carton 79 , folder 7

Material added to the digital collection relates to Bishop’s work, teachings, and awards. Including lectures on polio, rubella, hepatitis, tumors, and cancer. Material also includes correspondence, photographs, and research notes.

J. Michael Bishop throwing ceremonial first pitch at San Francisco Giants baseball game. J. Michael Bishop papers, MSS 2007-21, carton 8, folder 43

You can view the collection finding aid on the Online Archive of California. You can also view many of our finding aids on the UC San Francisco page of the Online Archive of California. If you are interested in viewing other digital collections please visit the UC San Francisco page on Calisphere.

Celebrating National Nurses Week and Florence Nightingale, handwashing innovator

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By Erin Hurley, User Services & Accessioning Archivist

Although, in 2020, advice like “wash your hands” and “cover your mouth when you cough” seem fairly obvious and common sense, there was a time when this was not the case. That time was March 1855, when the situation in British hospitals outside of Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) during the Crimean War had become so dire that Florence Nightingale and 40 other women acting as trained volunteer nurses were finally allowed access to patients (they had previously been denied access because of their gender). Hospitals were overcrowded and extremely unsanitary conditions encouraged the spread of infectious diseases like cholera, typhoid, typhus and dysentery, which Nightingale recognized immediately. She implemented basic cleanliness measures, such as baths for patients, clean facilities, and fresh linens, and advocated for an approach that addressed the psychological and emotional, as well as the physical, needs of patients. Her improvements brought a dramatic decline in the mortality rate at these hospitals, which had previously been as high as 40%.

While Nightingale is well known as one of the world’s first nurses, she is less well known for her strikingly lovely data visualizations (including pie charts and a rose-shaped design called the “coxcomb”), which she used to highlight the number of deaths from diseases, in addition to deaths from wounds or injury, during the Crimean War. Nightingale, a mathematician and statistician, recognized the importance of eye-catching visuals in communicating the impact of her innovations.

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th (National Nurses Day) and ends each year on May 12th (Florence Nightingale’s birthday). Today, we celebrate the history of nursing and nurses of all kinds, and the essential, life-saving work that they perform. We hope you enjoy this series of digital images from UCSF’s Archives & Special Collections, all digitized and available online through Calisphere. Archives & Special Collections also holds the fascinating Florence Nightingale Memorial Collection, created by Country Joe McDonald of Country Joe & the Fish, which you can read more about here.

Announcing the Longenecker Photograph Collection at ZSFG

We are excited to announce a new collection from the ZSFG Archives.  The Longenecker Photograph Collection, consisting of twelve boxes of prints, negatives, and glass plate negatives, is now available for research.

Don S Longenecker was the official photographer for San Francisco General Hospital from the 1950s to the 1980s.  During that time, he took photos of the interiors and exteriors of the hospital campus, staff, events, and patients, including portraits of staff members and medical photos of patients for use in publications.

ZSFG interns and residents, June 1959

Of particular note are the images that document the many changes to the hospital campus during the 30+ years of Longenecker’s career.  For example, the collection features images of the addition of fire escapes to the Nightingale wards of Buildings 10, 20, 30, and 40, the demolition of the old administration building that originally stood at the front gate entrance to the hospital, and the dedication of the new pathology building in 1967, along with other photos of both interior and exterior remodeling and construction.  The collection also includes detailed images of the brickwork and architecture of the historic buildings that date back to 1915.

Adding fire escapes to Buildings 30 and 40, circa 1950s.
During demolition of the administration building, circa 1960s.

Other highlights of the collection include photos of the surgical amphitheater, Mission Emergency, the dedication of the Trauma Center, staff labor strikes, hospital equipment, and many photos of staff events and celebrations.

Surgical theater

The finding aid for this collection is available on OAC.

Corresponding with Ralph H. Kellogg: A Record of Natural Beauty, Values, and Preservation

This is a guest post by Lynda Letona, Archives Assistant, regarding her project to process additions to the Ralph H. Kellogg papers.

 

This is the second and final blog on the Ralph H. Kellogg papers, the first of which appeared here: https://blogs.library.ucsf.edu/broughttolight/2018/02/27/ralph-h-kellogg-a-man-of-service/

Dr. Ralph H. Kellogg’s correspondence (1947-2007) features timely letters appealing to lawmakers on the need to preserve national parks in addition to editorial feedback and advice given to well-regarded physiologists who wrote important works on mountain journeys and high-altitude sickness. Below is a letter (dated May 25, 1954) addressed to Congressman John J. Allen, Jr. on the need to preserve national parks. This letter speaks in opposition to building a dam that would flood parts of Dinosaur National Monument, endangering the natural beauty, and value “to the country as a whole” reminding the reader that we can only preserve such natural treasures, “we cannot make them.” Dr. Kellogg refers to the construction of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, an important moment in environmental history to avoid repeating.

[Letter from Ralph H. Kellogg to Congressman John J. Allen on the need to preserve Dinosaur National Monument, 1954-05-25, MSS 90-38, carton 22, folder 2]

[Letter from Ralph H. Kellogg to Congressman John J. Allen on the need to preserve Dinosaur National Monument, 1954-05-25, MSS 90-38, carton 22, folder 2]

In his correspondence with colleagues such as Dr. John Burnard West, professor of physiology at the University of California, San Diego, and researcher in high-altitude medicine and adaptation, we come upon inspiring writings on the beauty of mountain exploration which serves as the impetus for the climber’s quest and the consequent need for research on respiration and high altitude physiology–a long-time shared research interest for Dr. Kellogg as well:

[Excerpt from “Mountain Journeys” by John B. West, quote by Reinhold Messner, the first climber to reach the summit of Mt. Everest without using supplemental oxygen, MSS 90-38, carton 24, folder 19]

[Excerpt from “Mountain Journeys” by John B. West, quote by Reinhold Messner, the first climber to reach the summit of Mt. Everest without using supplemental oxygen, MSS 90-38, carton 24, folder 19]

The history of altitude sickness is well preserved in Dr. Kellogg’s Correspondence Series and in his published works in the Research Series. The Daniel A. Gilbert file, where he exchanged correspondence with Dr. Gilbert, professor of physiology and a past Bowditch Lecturer of the American Physiological Society for outstanding scientist younger than 42, contains a paper titled “The First Documented Description of Mountain Sickness: The Andean or Pariacaca Story.” In this paper authored by Dr. Gilbert, we have another important document where the author credits Dr. Kellogg for his valuable advice. The folder also contains photographs of Pariacaca, the highest mountain in the Pariacaca mountain range in the Andes of Peru.

[Air view showing the west side of Pariacaca, 1990, MSS 90-38, carton 24, Folder 10]

[Air view showing the west side of Pariacaca, 1990, MSS 90-38, carton 24, Folder 10]

[Pariacaca, MSS 90-38, carton 24, Folder 10]

[Pariacaca, MSS 90-38, carton 24, Folder 10]

References and further reading:

(2000, October 18). Daniel L. Gilbert. Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/2000/10/18/daniel-l-gilbert-dies/485b9bf0-1f18-4cdd-8f9f-9235e8e844b6/?utm_term=.7a1804e86d45

(2014). History of the Valley. Restore Hetch Hetchy. Retrieved from https://www.hetchhetchy.org/history_of_the_valley

(n.d.). Echo Park Dam Controversy. Colorado Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://coloradoencyclopedia.org/article/echo-park-dam-controversy

OAC. (n.d.). West (John B.) Papers. Retrieved from https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt4q2nd2g2/

New Archives Intern: Lauren Wolters

Lauren Wolters

Lauren Wolters is a rising junior undergraduate student at Skidmore College. She is double majoring in History and Psychology and is interested in learning the basics of archival theory and practice. Being a history major, Lauren is fascinated by old artifacts and is excited to have the unique opportunity to work with collections that are not always available to the public eye. Currently, she has been assisting by taking inventory of a collection of photographs and organizing a digital list of metadata. Eventually, she will be transitioning to aid on a project relating to the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute Records. This project is perfectly tailored towards both of her interests as it combines her two majors.

Lauren was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She plays volleyball at Skidmore College and enjoys photography as a hobby. Lauren is enjoying working in the library with the archivists and looks forward to learning even more about the archives.

Ralph H. Kellogg: A Man of Service

This is a guest post by Lynda Letona, Archives Assistant, regarding her project to process additions to the Ralph H. Kellogg papers.

Dr. Ralph H. Kellogg wore many hats: awarded professor, scientist, writer, and even archivist/photographer. Born on June 7, 1920 in Connecticut, his work carried him across the United States and abroad, from Latin America to the United Kingdom.

Ralph H. Kellogg in laboratory, 1956-07-29. MSS 90-38, carton 25, folder 3.

Kellogg was recruited by the University of California from Harvard University, where he had served as Teaching Fellow and Instructor from 1946-1953. He joined the University of California School of Medicine in 1953 and spent the rest of his career with UCSF (with a brief sabbatical appointment as Visiting Fellow in Oxford University’s Laboratory of Physiology from 1970 -1971). Starting out as a renal physiologist, Kellogg shifted his research interests to respiratory physiology and began conducting work at White Mountain in California to investigate high-altitude physiology. Among his works is a 28-page examination of altitude sickness and a 64-page history of the regulation of breathing from ancient times to the end of World War II. The Ralph H. Kellogg papers include a White Mountain series devoted to research and laboratory material, photographs, and publications.

White Mountain, 5 miles north of Barcroft Laboratory, seen from the unpaved road along the intervening 13,000 ft. plateau, 1958. MSS 90-38, carton 25, folder 5.

Dr. Kellogg’s papers evidence a strong record of university service and camaraderie. Working through his papers, I’ve come across numerous thank you letters addressed to him in his correspondence and folders of committee work, including one labeled “Committee on Committees”!

UCSF Department of Physiology Halloween Party, 1969-10-31. MSS 90-38, box 3.

I’ve also arranged his carefully labeled photograph collection, a remarkable testament to his ability to appreciate people and acknowledge their contributions.

Dr. Kellogg’s detailed notes regarding participants in the Haldane Centenary Symposium, Oxford, July 1961. MSS 90-38, box 5.

Bighorn sheep, MSS 90-38, carton 25, folder 5.

I’ve found processing Dr. Kellogg’s papers inspiring. His work, ranging from offering editorial feedback to colleagues in the field to gathering historical research on leading figures in physiology to gazing at animals on a mountain top and riding in the back of a Jeep near Barcroft Lab at 13,000 feet, illustrates a fulfilled life dedicated to research and service.

Men in Jeep on road above Barcroft Lab, 1955-06-16. MSS 90-38, carton 25, folder 4.

UCSF Awarded California Revealed grant

We’re happy to announce that we have been selected to digitize several of our collections through the latest round of the California Revealed digitization granting program. California Revealed is a California State Library-funded initiative to digitize, preserve, and serve historically significant Californiana in partnership with archives and other repositories across the state.

For this latest round of digitization, which will begin in April of this year, we will be digitizing our Tales and Traditions scrapbooks, several of our scrapbooks documenting the experiences of Hospital Unit 30 in World War II, and several folders from the records of the Black Caucus, specifically production materials for their Black Bulletin newsletter.

All of these collections combined document some fascinating slices of California history where it intersects with the history of UCSF. Since UCSF is one of the older UCs (though it has changed form several times), it should come as no surprise that they intersect a lot! Just as a sample, these materials contain histories of the development of a public health program in the state of California, an account of California survivors of WWII war crimes such as Nazi medical experiments and the dropping of the Atomic Bomb of Hiroshima, the development of one of the first summer camps created specifically for people with diabetes, the medical questions that were at the beginning of the California drug craze, and the development of the civil rights movement in California and the intimate ties between organizers who were employed at UCSF and the larger nationwide movement.

We’re excited to get these materials digitized and available to everyone, no matter their location. We’ll announce when they’re online.

AIDS Treatment News Digital Collection

We’re announcing the publication of the AIDS Treatment News (ATN) digital collection.

The collection includes a sampling of the ATN records that we house at UCSF. 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.

This collection is made possible through the generous support of an NHPRC grant from the National Archives.

The digital collection includes ephemera, photographs, and documents that illustrate AIDS-related activism and ATN’s operations.

Notable material includes images of the 1988 protest at the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) offices in Washington, DC, flyers related to the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, and ACT UP San Francisco material.

View the complete digital collection on Calisphere. Contact us to visit the reading room and work with the ATN records.