Archives as Data Research Guide Now Available!

To help researchers in finding and understanding how to work with data from archival health sciences collections, we have compiled and published the Archives as Data research guide. “Archives as Data” refers to archival collection materials in digital form that can be shared, accessed, analyzed, and referenced as data. Using digital tools, researchers can work with archives as data to explore and evaluate characteristics of collection materials and analyze trends and connections within and across them.

AIDS History Project Collections document included in the No More Silence dataset with Python code used for analysis.

UCSF Archives and Special Collections makes data available from a number of our digital collections. Researchers will find information in the guide about accessing and using such data as well as descriptions of both the form and content this data takes. As well, you’ll find a growing set of links to to learning resources about various data analysis methods used to work with archives as data.

This new Archives as Data research guide provides researchers with a centralized resource hub with brief descriptions of collection materials as well as links to the datasets that have been prepared from them, including:

  • The No More Silence dataset, an aggregation of data from selected collections included in the AIDS History Project which range from the records of community activism groups to the papers of health researchers and journalists.
  • Data from the Industry Documents Library, comprising collections of documents from the tobacco, food, drug, fossil fuel, chemical, and opioid industries, all of which impact public health.
  • Selected datasets from the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer organization launched from The Atlantic and dedicated to collecting and publishing the data required to understand the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, with data collected from March 2020-March 2021.
  • Data from digitized UCSF University Publications, from course catalogs to annual reports, newsletters, and more.

We look forward to updating the guide as more data from UCSF Archives and Special Collections becomes available, and anticipate expanding to include links to “archives as data” of interest for digital health humanities work made available by other institutions and organizations.

To learn more about how we are making archives as data available at UCSF, check out recordings and resources from our recent sessions on Finding and Exploring Archives as Data for Digital Health Humanities!

The Archives as Data Research Guide has been published as part of the UCSF DIgital Health Humanities pilot program. Please reach out to the Digital Health Humanities Program Coordinator Kathryn Stine, at kathryn.stine@ucsf.edu with any questions about DHH at UCSF. The UCSF Digital Health Humanities Pilot is funded by the Academic Senate Chancellor’s Fund via the Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication.

Digital Health Humanities: Showcasing “Archives as Data” for Analysis

UCSF Archives & Special Collections includes numerous digitized collections documenting health sciences topics ranging from institutional, community, and individual response to illness and disease to industry impacts on public health. We make many of these collections available as data that can be computationally analyzed for health sciences and humanities research.

Voyant Cirrus term frequency visualization generated from AIDS health crisis workshops file data, 1986 from the UCSF AIDS Health Project Records, UCSF Archives & Special Collections (data available in the No More Silence dataset).

If you are curious about working with data from the UCSF Archives and Special Collections, the Digital Health Humanities (DHH) pilot program will showcase our “archives as data” throughout the month. In two upcoming sessions, we’ll provide an orientation to available data as well as methods for finding, accessing, and exploring these data resources:

Voyant Bubbleline term occurrence visualization generated from Letter from the FDA to Purdue re: new drug application for OxyContin Controlled-Release Tablets data, 1995 from the Kentucky Opioid Litigation Documents collection, UCSF Industry Documents Library (data available from from item page link or as part of collection dataset).

Python for Data Analysis series workshops

DHH programming also continues to partner with the Data Science Institute (DSI) to offer workshops on tools and methods well-suited to conducting research with “archives as data.” March workshops in the DSI Python for Data Analysis series will dig in to text analysis using natural language processing and building machine learning models:

Through these workshops and selected companion follow-up sessions with troubleshooting and guided process walkthroughs, researchers can learn and practice data analysis techniques and get familiar with data from our collections. Check out the library’s events calendar to find and register for the latest offerings!

OpenRefine workshops

If you have data you’d like to work with but it needs tidying and preparation attend a DSI OpenRefine workshop. This workshop will cover techniques for cleaning structured data, no programming required! There will be two OpenRefine sessions this month:

Previously-held DHH session slides, linked resources, and recordings are available on the CLE. There you will find materials from a Digital Health Humanities Overview session and recorded walkthroughs for Unix, Python, and Jupyter notebooks basics. Related resources will be updated on the CLE following DHH sessions.

Questions?

Please contact DHH Program Coordinator, Kathryn Stine, at kathryn.stine@ucsf.edu. The UCSF Digital Health Humanities Pilot is funded by the Academic Senate Chancellor’s Fund via the Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication.

Launching the Digital Health Humanities Pilot

We are excited to launch digital health humanities pilot programming starting January 2023! Digital health humanities (DHH) is an emerging discipline that utilizes digital methods and resources to explore research questions investigating the human experience around health and illness. The Digital Health Humanities Pilot (DHHP) will facilitate new insights into historical health data. Participants will learn how to evaluate and integrate digital methods and “archives as data” into their research through a range of offerings and trainings.

Participants at the first workshop for the No More Silence project, a precursor to digital health humanities pilot programming

The programming from this pilot will bring a humanistic context to understanding institutional, personal and community responses to health issues, as well as social, cultural, political and economic impacts on individual and public health. The DHHP will offer researchers from all disciplines (including faculty, staff, and other learners) tailored workshops, classes, and skill-building sessions. Workshops will encourage the use of “archives as data” and utilize datasets from holdings within the UCSF Archives and Special Collections (including the AIDS History Project and Industry Documents Library, among others). Additionally, in spring 2023 we will be hosting the Digital Health Humanities Symposium. The symposium will provide space to consider theoretical issues central to this emerging field and highlight digital health humanities projects. More information on the symposium will be shared soon.

The UCSF Digital Health Humanities Pilot is funded by the Academic Senate Chancellor’s Fund via the Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication.

Register for an upcoming Digital Health Humanities overview session

Are you interested in learning how DHH can inform your research? We invite you to participate in our virtual session, Digital Health Humanities: An Overview of Methods, Tools, Archives, and Applications, Thursday, January 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. PT.

This session will include an orientation led by Digital Health Humanities Program Coordinator, Kathryn Stine and Digital Archivist, Charlie Macquarie. We will discuss various approaches in DHH research, including getting familiar with data analysis and programming skills, and will share an overview of the UCSF Library’s archival collections data available for research.

For questions about digital health humanities at UCSF, please contact Digital Health Humanities Program Coordinator, Kathryn Stine at kathryn.stine@ucsf.edu.

Register Now

Collaborating with the Data Science Initiative

The Data Science Initiative (DSI) is offering workshops in the coming months to support researchers interested in implementing DHH approaches. Follow-up sessions will be available for researchers to reinforce and contextualize programming foundations in practical application. Check out the upcoming sessions:

We invite you to check out the library’s events and classes calendar for upcoming DHHP (and related DSI) programming. If you are unable to attend any of the sessions listed above, we advise referring to the DSI Collaborative Learning Environment (CLE) (accessible with MyAccess credentials) for recordings and resources.



New Corpus of Historical HIV/AIDS Records Available Online

The UCSF Archives and Special Collections is pleased to announce the completion of the  Subaward: “The San Francisco Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic: Digitizing and Providing Universal Access to Historical AIDS Records Network of the National Library of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region Subaward: “The San Francisco Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic: Digitizing and Providing Universal Access to Historical AIDS Records.” This project chronicles the stories of marginalized communities and communities of color during the AIDS epidemic.

African- Americans, AIDS history project
— ephemera collection, MSS 2000-31, box 1, folder 3

In collaboration with UC Merced Library’s Digital Assets Unit, we digitized over 45,000 pages from 14 archival collections related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the San Francisco Bay Area. The digitized material is now accessible to the public via the California Digital Library platform, Calisphere. This new corpus includes correspondence, brochures, reports, notebooks, negatives, newspaper clips, and photographic prints. Several new digital collections have been added to our digital holdings related to AIDS history including:

New material has also been added to digital collections already in the digital library including:

Latinos, AIDS history project — ephemera collection, MSS 2000-31, box 1, folder 4

Another accomplishment of the project was the development of an AIDS history primary source set in collaboration with Aimee Medeiros, Associate Professor of History of Health Sciences at UCSF. The primary source set titled “BIPOC Activism” highlights BIPOC activism and AIDS outreach campaigns to communities of color during the early days of the AIDS epidemic. This new educational resource and tool can be used by students, teachers, and researchers and is accessible on the archives’ website.

UCSF Receives NNLM PSR Subaward: “The San Francisco Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic: Digitizing and Providing Universal Access to Historical AIDS Records”

This Fall the UCSF Archives & Special Collections received a $138,370 subaward from the  Network of the National Library of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region, for a project titled The San Francisco Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic: Digitizing and Providing Universal Access to Historical AIDS Records.

Black-and-white poster of on African American man reaching for another; Brothers offers services for African American gay/bisexual men and transgender people. UCSF AIDS History Project Ephemera Collection, MSS 2000-31, box 7, folder 9, item 22.
Black-and-white poster of on African American man reaching for another; Brothers offers services for African American gay/bisexual men and transgender people. UCSF AIDS History Project Ephemera Collection, MSS 2000-31, box 7, folder 9, item 22.

UCSF’s project supports a priority area for NLM and NIH by digitizing approximately 45,000 pages from 15 archival collections related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the San Francisco Bay Area with the objective of making them widely accessible to the public. This project will chronicle the experience and struggles of communities of color and other marginalized communities during the onset of the AIDS epidemic.

This project will make publicly accessible experiences of communities that are “absent or excluded from the history of HIV/AIDS in the United States” [Jennifer Brier,  The Oral History Review, Volume 45, Issue 1]. Its goal is to include the voices of underrepresented and marginalized groups in the historical record and increase public impact of these archival collections. These collections cover diverse issues communities are faced with: poverty, racial and socio-economic segregation, health care policy inequalities, public health and sexual education and prevention, disparities in the HIV response, the impact of HIV on migrant communities, and the intersection of the criminal justice system and HIV.

It will build on the success and expand the UCSF’s AIDS history digital collection that was developed with the assistance from the Implementation Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2017-2019 and resulted in digitization of 160,197 pages from 35 archival collections from the three collaborating institutions: UCSF, San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society (GLBT HS).

Poster for AIDS Awareness week; San Francisco Community College district; San Francisco AIDS Foundation, 1986, artist: T.P. Ranger. UCSF AIDS History Project Ephemera Collection, MSS 2000-31, box 7, folder 9, item 23.
Poster for AIDS Awareness week; San Francisco Community College district; San Francisco AIDS Foundation, 1986, artist: T.P. Ranger. UCSF AIDS History Project Ephemera Collection, MSS 2000-31, box 7, folder 9, item 23.

The materials that will be digitized range from hand handwritten correspondence and notebooks to typed and printed reports and agency records. Photographic prints, negatives, transparencies, and posters will also be digitized. They will be added to a growing digital collection documenting the AIDS crisis established by UCSF on the California Digital Library platform, Calisphere and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) becoming publicly accessible around the world.  The materials will be digitized by the UC Merced Library’s Digital Assets Unit that has been partnering with UCSF on successful collaborative digitization projects for more than 10 years. All materials selected to be digitized will be carefully examined for privacy concerns and the archivists will consult with an existing Advisory Board.

UCSF plans to partner with NLM’s History of Medicine Division and DPLA to create a collaborative AIDS history primary source set on the Digital Public Library of America in order to disseminate the project results and enable their educational use. UCSF will also promote the availability of this resource to organizations in the San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland, CA areas. This project is led by Polina Ilieva and Edith Escobedo serves as a project archivist.

“They Were Really Us”: The UCSF Community’s Early Response to AIDS — A New Exhibition on Calisphere

By Polina Ilieva, Head of Archives and Special Collections

When HIV/AIDS first seized the nation’s attention in the early 1980s, it was a disease with no name, known cause, treatment, or cure. Beginning as a medical mystery, it turned into one of the most divisive social and political issues of the 20th century. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) was at the forefront of medical institutions trying to understand the disease and effectively treat early AIDS patients.

Drawing on materials from the AIDS History Project collections preserved in UCSF’s Archives and Special Collections, the UCSF Library presents “They Were Really Us”: The UCSF Community’s Early Response to AIDS, a new digital exhibition on Calisphere that highlights the ways UCSF clinicians and staff addressed HIV/AIDS from its outbreak in the 1980s to the foundation of the AIDS Research Institute in 1996. 

From medical professionals defining the disease and developing a model of care, to activists calling for treatments and public education, this exhibition amplifies the resilience of a community not only responding to its local needs, but also breaking ground on a larger scale with efforts that continue to impact HIV/AIDS care and research today. 

The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt panels displayed at San Francisco City Hall during San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Day Parade, UCSF Library, Archives and Special Collections.

This exhibition, including the digitization of materials used in this exhibition, has been made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (PW-253755-17) “The San Francisco Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic: Digitizing, Reuniting, and Providing Universal Access to Historical AIDS Records,” awarded to the UCSF Library in 2017-2020.

About UCSF Archives and Special Collections

UCSF Archives and Special Collections identifies, collects, preserves, and maintains rare and unique materials to support research and teaching of the health sciences and medical humanities and to preserve UCSF institutional memory. The Archives serve as the official repository for the preservation of selected records, print and born-digital materials, and realia generated by or about the UCSF, including all four schools, the Graduate Division, and the UCSF Medical Center.

The Special Collections encompasses a Rare Book Collection that includes incunabula, early printed works, and modern secondary works. The East Asian Collection is especially strong in works related to the history of Western medicine in Japan.The Japanese Woodblock Print Collection consists of 400 prints and 100 scrolls, dating from 16th to the 20th century. The Special Collections also contains papers of health care providers and researchers from San Francisco and California; historical records of UCSF hospitals; administrative records of regional health institutions; photographs and slides; motion picture films and videotapes; and oral histories focusing on development of biotechnology; the practice and science of medicine; healthcare delivery, economics, and administration; tobacco control; anesthesiology;  homeopathy and alternative medicine; obstetrics and gynecology; high altitude physiology; occupational medicine; HIV/AIDS and global health.

About Calisphere

Calisphere provides free access to California’s remarkable digital collections, which include unique and historically important artifacts from the University of California and other educational and cultural heritage institutions across the state. Calisphere provides digital access to over one million photographs, documents, letters, artwork, diaries, oral histories, films, advertisements, musical recordings, and more.
Calisphere Exhibitions are curated sets of items with scholarly interpretation that contribute to historical understanding. Exhibitions tell a story by adding context to selected digital primary sources in Calisphere, thereby bringing the digital content to life. Calisphere Exhibitions are curated by contributing institutions and undergo editorial review. We are currently refining these processes, which are outlined in the Contributor Help Center. Please contact us if you’re interested in learning more about Calisphere Exhibitions.

New Online Exhibit – Shanti Projects: Histories of Shanti Project and the AIDS Crisis

We are delighted to announce a launch of an online exhibit, Shanti Projects: Histories of Shanti Project and the AIDS Crisis curated by University of Minnesota American Studies graduate student Brendan McHugh. It documents Shanti Project’s AIDS care work during the early decades of the AIDS crisis. Since 1974 Shanti has provided psychosocial peer support counseling to people with life-threatening illnesses and their loved ones in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. During the early years of the AIDS crisis, Shanti rose to the challenge by creating groundbreaking services for people living with AIDS/HIV. For much of the 1980s and 1990s Shanti was one of the largest AIDS organizations in the U.S. The plurality of the exhibit’s title reflects the vast array of people’s experiences at Shanti during that time period, as well as those who work with Shanti today. Visit the exhibit at https://shantiprojects.dash.umn.edu

Shanti Projects online exhibit homepage
Shanti Projects online exhibit homepage

Shanti Projects is organized to reflect the process of becoming involved with Shanti as a volunteer. Alongside the main exhibit are three multimedia pages showcasing the work of photographers Judi Iranyi, Mariella Poli, and Jim Wigler and their portraits of people with AIDS/HIV who played important roles with Shanti. In the future, the final page Active Listening will provide audio clips from oral histories conducted for this project with accompanying transcripts to follow. Additional materials and sources have been provided by The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Historical Society, University of California, San Francisco, and generous interviewees personal materials.

A Shanti Support Group, circa 1985. Photo by Judi Iranyi
A Shanti Support Group, circa 1985. Photo by Judi Iranyi

There will also be a newsletter published monthly to announce updates on new material and events connected to the exhibit. Please sign up through the link on the exhibit website. For more information contact Brendan McHugh at mchug103@umn.edu.

[This press release was provided by Brendan McHugh]

UCSF Archives Receives Grant to Preserve LGBTQ History Collections

UCSF Archives & Special Collections was awarded a $14,986 local assistance grant by the California State Library for the “Documenting the LGBTQ Health Equity Movement in California” project.

Preserving California’s LGBTQ History is a grant program that funds projects that support physical and/or digital preservation and digitization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) materials relating to California history and culture. This California State Library program will award a total of $500,000 in one-time grants for projects from large archival institutions with a global reach, as well as smaller, localized collections. The program aims to preserve materials that demonstrate the significant role of LGBTQ Californians and the LGBTQ movement in this state, as well as providing a more comprehensive and inclusive view of California’s history.

The UCSF project will support preservation through processing and partial digitization of two collections documenting the LGBTQ health equity movement in California:

•         San Francisco AIDS Foundation Magnet Program Records

•         UCSF LGBT Resource Center Records

San Francisco AIDS Foundation Magnet Program card

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) Magnet Program is a health and wellness program located in the SFAF’s Strut Center in the heart of the Castro District of San Francisco. They offer community events, sexual health services, substance use counseling, PrEP, HIV and STI testing, learning events and rotating art displays from queer artists.  In spring 2001, a Community Advisory Board comprised of community members, social workers, and activists began meeting regularly to discuss how to proceed with the development of a new Gay Men’s Health Center.  The new center chose to address gay men’s health in innovative ways instead of simply replicating existing programs in a new location. Since 2003, Magnet’s overarching vision has been to promote the physical, mental, and social well-being of gay men. Magnet activities are guided by the following core values of the agency: self-determination, access, sexual expression, diversity, and leadership. Magnet provides individual STI/HIV services and community programs including book readings, art exhibits, town hall forums, and other social events. In 2007 Magnet merged with the SFAF to increase the services available to men throughout the Bay Area. Magnet also serves transgender, gender non-conforming, gender non-binary, and gender-queer people.

This collection includes founding documents, surveys of clients, assessments of services, marketing materials, advocacy campaigns, photographs, community art pieces, and posters documenting the establishment and activities of the Magnet program.

UCSF Visibility Project flyer, 2006 Chancellor's Award for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Leadership
UCSF Visibility Project flyer, 2006 Chancellor’s Award for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Leadership

The LGBT Resource Center serves as the hub for all queer life at UCSF, including the campus and medical center. It works toward creating and maintaining a safe, inclusive, and equitable environment for LGBTQIA+ students, staff, faculty, post-docs, residents, fellows, alumni, and patients. It aims to sustain visibility and a sense of community throughout the many campus sites. This community takes an intersectional approach and is committed to building workplace equity, promoting student and staff leadership, and providing high-quality, culturally-congruent care to UCSF patients. Founded in 1998, it was the first LGBT resource center in a health science institution.

This collection includes the center’s founding documents, traces the earlier LGBT community activities in the 1970s through the 1980s, and contains materials chronicling the history and evolution of the center. It also includes records of diverse events organized by the center: Coming Out Monologues, Trans Day of Remembrance & Resilience, and Trans Day of Visibility, as well as correspondence and announcements related to OUTlist, Mentoring Program, and Annual LGBTQIA+ Health Forum. These materials also document UC-wide advocacy work for providing equal benefits for same-sex domestic partners.

The UCSF Archives & Special Collections have been working on preserving materials documenting the LGBTQ health equity movement in California. These two recently acquired collections will enable researchers to investigate these communities’ efforts to address health-related issues and advocate for health equity.

 The Magnet collections allow researchers to investigate how the “San Francisco model” of AIDS care continued to evolve in the twenty-first century by providing free and equitable health care, education, and community space. Both collections contribute to an understanding of the medical, social, and political processes that merged to develop effective means of treating those with AIDS and other illnesses.

Diverse audiences will benefit from having access to this project’s archival collections, including scholars in disciplines such as medicine, nursing, jurisprudence, journalism, history and sociology, college students, and members of the general public pursuing individual areas of interest.

The collections included in this project are currently only accessible at the UCSF Archives reading room. The digitization of these collections will grant access to these valuable primary sources and other hard-to-find materials to scholars, students, and others worldwide. This project will significantly expand the historical record of the LGBTQ health equity movement in California and make a new corpus of materials related to the movement’s progress discoverable to a broad audience.

Save Our Stories: Support AIDS History Archive

https://givingtogether.ucsf.edu/fundraiser/2359886

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

Read more and donate.

With gratitude,
UCSF Archives & Special Collections team

California Digital Library profiles AIDS History Project

Through its newsletter CDL “highlights new collections on Calisphere that feature community voices and stories. These collections are made available in close collaboration with local community members and broaden our worldview through the diverse narratives and myriad perspectives that resonate in the collections.

Spotlight on the AIDS History Project

The UCSF Archives & Special Collections was a pioneering repository that collected materials documenting the HIV/AIDS epidemic, one of the most significant public-health events of the late twentieth century and an ongoing challenge throughout the world. 

The AIDS History Project (AHP) began in 1987 as a joint effort of historians, archivists, AIDS activists, health care providers, and others to secure historically significant resources reflecting responses to the crisis in San Francisco. Starting in 1991, the Archives received several grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to fund the survey, acquisition, arrangement, and description of carefully selected records from numerous San Francisco-based agencies and organizations whose work focused on the AIDS crisis.” Continue reading: https://cdlib.org/cdlinfo/2019/10/30/diverse-narratives-and-myriad-perspectives-new-collections-on-calisphere/