Archives and Special Collections Reading Room is Now Open

The Archives and Special Collections reading room is now open Wednesday–Friday from 9 am–noon and 1–4 pm by appointment only. For non-UCSF visitors, please see the following information:

  • Request materials and make appointments using our new request system; it’s easy to request materials and make reading room appointments. After an initial sign-up, you can track your requests and appointments.
  • The requirements for access to reading room UCSF Library facilities are currently only open to those with a UCSF ID. External researchers can make appointments to review materials in the Archives & Special Collections reading room. At the time of appointment, visitors will be met at the entrance to the library by the archives staff and accompanied to the reading room. Any individuals visiting the UCSF campus facilities are required to follow UCSF campus guest requirements.

Happy Holidays (and 2019/20 Winter Closure)

The archives team is wishing you joy and peace during the holidays and throughout the New Year.

As 2019 comes to an end, we wanted to express our gratitude for the ongoing support of our colleagues, donors, interns, and collaborators.

The Archives & Special Collections will be closed from Saturday, December 21, 2019 through Wednesday, January 1st, 2020. We will reopen on Thursday, January 2nd.

Cabrol, Barthelemy. Ontleeding des menschelycken lichaems, 1633.
Find it at the UCSF Library:

If you submit a question through Ask an Archivist or make a reservation for the reading room during that time, please note that we will begin reviewing reference questions and reading room bookings when we re-open on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

Happy Holidays (and 2018/19 Winter Closure)

Photo by Elisabeth Fall

The archives team would like to express our gratitude to all our supporters, donors, users, collaborators, interns and colleagues for helping us grow our holdings, uncover, describe, and digitize previously hidden collections.

We hope to see many of you next year, please join us for the upcoming Archives Lectures and come view the recently opened new exhibit, Open Wide: 500 Years of Dentistry in Art.

The Archives & Special Collections will be closed from Saturday, December 22, 2017 through Tuesday, January 1st, 2018. We will reopen on Wednesday, January 2nd.

Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

UCSF First Digital Archivist

UCSF Digital Archivist Charlie Macquarie

In the increasingly digital world when the majority of scholarly output comes in a digital format or is being digitized for ease of access, the UCSF Archives & Special Collection has been working the past 20 years on digitizing its holdings and building digital collections. However, now that the number of born-digital materials produced by UCSF faculty and researchers as well as outside donors is growing exponentially, there is a need to establish a Digital Archives Program within our department.

I’m happy to introduce our first recently hired Digital Archivist, Charlie Macquarie who will lead this program.

Charlie is an archivist, artist, and experimental librarian. Born in the Bay Area, he grew up in Carson City, NV and considers himself a Nevadan at heart. Charlie received his undergraduate degree in English from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, and his graduate degree in Information and Library Science from Pratt Institute in New York, NY. Employed most recently as a digital archivist at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library, Charlie has worked as a library and information professional at a variety of institutions, including Columbia University, the New York City Transit Authority, and the little old Carson High School library.

Charlie is also interested in using libraries and the opportunities of digital information creatively as a lens to examine possible expansions of the commons within the public consciousness, and to remind people of the power of shared ownership in an increasingly privatized world. As part of this, he has a creative practice that takes the form of the Library of Approximate Location — an ongoing itinerant project engaging with the confounding nature of environmental materiality and its disparate networks and landscapes in the Western United States through the installation of small scale, site-specific libraries. He is also a library research fellow and librarian in residence at the Prelinger Library.
He loves trains, bicycles, and heavy metal music.

Happy Holidays (and 2016/17 Winter Closure)

The archives team is grateful to our blog subscribers (please also check our Twitter and Tumblr channels), supporters, and users! The UCSF Library team recently redesigned our website to better serve your needs:, please take a few moments to review it and send us your comments via this email:
This holiday season we would like to share with you a recipe from “The Fraus’ Favorites,” a cookbook compiled by spouses of the School of Medicine class of 1953 students (AR 2012-22) :

Rose Fujii recipe from "The Fraus' Favorites" cookbook, 1953

Rose Fujii recipe from “The Fraus’ Favorites” cookbook, 1953

The Archives and Special Collections will be closed from Friday, December 23, 2016 through Monday, January 2nd, 2017. We will reopen on Tuesday, January 3rd.

The Archives team wishes you all a Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays (and 2015 Winter Closure)

This Holiday Season we would like to thank all of you are dear readers and supporters!
With your help we were able to acquire numerous collection, design and install 4 new exhibits, organize three archives lectures, answer hundreds of reference questions, catalog, process and digitize dozens of collections!

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area please visit the “Windows on Science” exhibit at Exploratorium’s Living Systems Gallery  – this exhibit highlights UCSF’s leadership in health science research and education and a long history of collaboration between the Exploratorium and UCSF.

UCSF exhibit at the Exploratorium. Photographer, Mark Citret.

UCSF exhibit at the Exploratorium. Photographer, Mark Citret.

Researchers at UCSF use the model species and organisms on display in the Exploratorium’s Living Systems Gallery.  While the Exploratorium exhibits these species and organisms to teach visitors about science, UCSF researchers use them to conduct experiments that can change our lives.

Four exhibit areas in the Living Systems Gallery at the Exploratorium have been identified around four model species and organisms: stem cells, zebra fish, c.elegans/round worms, and microscopes. The UCSF exhibit builds on the “Lessons from the Lab” exhibit in the Cell Gallery, which exhibits live organisms and discuss what scientists have learned from them. This exhibit fills in some of the details: describing what UCSF scientists have learned from each organism and what types of experiments are conducted. The list of featured UCSF-affilicated researcher includes:  Nadav Ahituv Lab, Bruce Conklin, Cynthia Kenyon, Shinya Yamanaka, Ron Vale Lab. Artifacts from the UCSF archives that relate to the research being exhibited are also on display.

UCSF exhibit at the Exploratorium. Photographer, Mark Citret.

UCSF exhibit at the Exploratorium. Photographer, Mark Citret.

The Archives and Special Collections will be closed from Wednesday, December 23, 2015 through Sunday, January 3rd, 2016. We will reopen on Monday, January 4th.

The Archives team wishes you all a Happy New Year!

UCSF Archives on Tumblr

icon_tumblrWe’re always looking for new ways to share our material, so we’ve joined Tumblr! View photographs, artifacts, rare documents, and more from our collections. If you’re a Tumblr user, follow us and share our posts

Tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking website. It allows users to follow other blogs and share their own content. Check us out at

UCSF Archives and Special Collections on Tumblr

UCSF Archives and Special Collections on Tumblr

October is Archives Months

October is American Archives MonthThe UCSF Archives have a double celebration this month. October is not just an American Archives month, but also the California Archives month. This event “raises public awareness of the importance of archives and to honors the efforts of the professionals who protect and maintain historical documents.”
Please visit the UCSF Archives to:

  • Access Historical Materials in the Reading Room
    We collect and preserve rare and unique materials to support research and teaching in the history of health sciences, the development of UCSF, and biomedical discoveries. Make an appointment to view rare books, archives, manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts.
  • Develop Research Strategies
    Schedule a consultation to develop effective research strategies.  Discover print and online primary sources in the history of health sciences and UCSF history.
  • Get Help with Documenting Your Career/Preserving Your Department’s Records
    We review your personal papers & organization records (print & digital) and advise on how to preserve them. Consult us about donating your materials.
  • Locate materials and Access Digital Collections
  • Connect with Us:
    Brought to Light blog
    Twitter: @ucsf_archives

Please meet the UCSF Archives & Special Collections team (in order of appearance):

  • David Krah, processing archivists (Tobacco Control Archives and Eric Berne collections)
  • Kelsi Evans, processing archivist (Radiologic Imaging Laboratory and Dr. J. Michael Bishop collections)
  • David Uhlich, UCSF assistant archivist
  • Polina Ilieva, UCSF archivist, Head of Archives & Special Collections

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Or watch the video on the Internet Archive.

October 1st Is #AskAnArchivist Day! We’ve Got Answers…

Today is the second annual #AskAnArchivist Day. The Society of American Archivists is organizing this day-long event to launch the celebration of the American Archives Month and help connect the public with diverse repositories in all states.

UCSF Library card catalog, 1970s

UCSF Library card catalog, 1970s

#AskAnArchivist is open to everyone—all you need is a Twitter account! To participate, just tweet a question and include the hashtag #AskAnArchivist in your tweet. Your question will be seen instantly by archivists around the country who are standing by to respond directly to you.
If your questions are specifically for the UCSF archives, be sure to tweet them to @ucsf_archives using the hashtag #AskAnArchivist on October 1st from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (PST).
Ask us:

  • How do archives change lives?
  • What is the oldest book in your collection?
  • How can I donate materials to an archive?
  • What is the name of the UCSF first female graduate?
  • Why are archives important?
  • What textbooks did students use in 1898?
  • How old is UCSF?

The archives team will be waiting for your submissions. Click here to tweet.

Quick Guide to Research Tools

Summer is officially here and with it comes research trips! Whether you are set on visiting the UCSF Archives and Special Collections or just getting started on your plans, the UCSF Library has a number of tools that can help. Take a look at the following list and please contact us if you have any questions.

Search for archival material and rare books:

View archival material and special collections online:

Access and Services: