Welcome to Summer Interns May Yuan and Lianne de Leon!

Please join us in giving a warm welcome to our two newest summer interns, May Yuan and Lianne de Leon!

May and Lianne are both participating in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Career Pathway Summer Fellowship Program. This six-week program provides opportunities for high school students to gain work experience in a variety of industries and to expand their learning and skills outside of the classroom. Lianne and May will be working (remotely) with the UCSF Industry Documents Library (IDL), and we are grateful to SFUSD and its partners for sponsoring these internships.

May and Lianne will be working on several collection description projects with IDL this summer, including correcting and enhancing document metadata, and creating descriptions for audio-visual materials. They have provided their introductions below.

My name is May Yuan and I’m a junior at Raoul Wallenberg Traditional High School. During my free time, I enjoy reading, learning and trying new things, and helping others academically. I’m super excited to work here at the UCSF IDL to help provide valuable information to the public as well as learn more about the various documents, lawsuits, etc. myself; I also hope to enhance my productivity and organization skills during my time working here as these skills are crucial to college and everyday life in general. The career paths I’m interested in are bioengineering (bioinformatics/biostatistics), law, and finance.

IDL Summer Intern May Yuan

Hi, my name is Lianne R. de Leon. I am a part of the Class of 2023 at Phillip and Sala Burton High School. In the past, I have worked on VEX EDR Robotics competition in 2018-2019. In my spare time I enjoy trying new foods and yoga. I aspire to become a computer hardware engineer and to travel across the entirety of Asia. I look forward to meeting and working with you all.

IDL Summer Intern Lianne de Leon

Welcome to IDL Summer Intern, Khushi Bhat

Please join us in giving a warm welcome to Khushi Bhat, who will be conducting a remote internship with the UCSF Industry Documents Library (IDL) this summer.

Khushi is currently a rising senior at Rutgers University where she is majoring in Biotechnology and minoring in Computer Science. This summer, she is working in the Industry Documents Library researching tools and methods to extract geographic locations from a collection of documents related to the tobacco industry’s influence in public policy.

Khushi will be conducting an independent course project to help the IDL team enhance descriptive metadata for our industry documents collections. We have long been aware of a research need to be able to filter documents by geographic location. Tobacco control researchers and other public health experts at UCSF and around the world use the documents in the Industry Documents Library to understand how corporations impact public health. This research is often used to inform policymakers who write laws and policies regulating the sale and use of products such as tobacco. Researchers and policymakers need information which relates to their local area such as their city, county, state, or country.

Geographic location is not currently included in IDL’s document-level metadata, and since IDL contains more than 15 million documents it is not feasible to manually catalog this information.

Khushi’s work will focus on researching Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Named Entity Recognition (NER) text analysis methods. She will investigate available tools which have the potential to automatically identify and label geographic information in text. Khushi’s research, recommendations, and pilot testing will help the IDL team outline workflows and strategies for enhancing our document metadata to include geographic information.

Khushi aspires to pursue a career in bioinformatics in the future and intends on pursuing higher education in this field upon graduation. In her spare time, Khushi enjoys dancing, baking, and hiking. Prior to joining Rutgers, she was an avid Taekwondo practitioner (and has a 2nd degree black belt to show for it!)

Image of IDL intern Khushi Bhat
IDL Summer Intern Khushi Bhat

Learning at the Medical Heritage Library Conference

The Medical Heritage Library 10th Anniversary Conference took place on November 13, 2020. UCSF Archives & Special Collections staff attended the day of virtual presentations, and our Industry Documents Library archivists delivered a talk titled “Smoke on Screens: Audiovisual Evidence of the Tobacco Industry’s Harms to Public Health.”

The conference was convened to celebrate a decade of digitizing and making available medical history resources. Keynote speaker Dr. Jaipreet Virdi, Assistant Professor for the Department of History at the University of Delaware, presented her work on Digitized Disability Histories. She discussed disability identity as represented through material objects of disability, and examined how disability history is separate from medical history.

The program also included fascinating talks from nine other speakers, ranging from the rhetoric used in early 20th century motherhood manuals to medicalize infant care and degrade traditional knowledge, to using convolutional neural networks (CNN) to identify and label objects in historical images in order to visualize thematic collections at scale, to studying the historical lessons from popular culture and medical discourse of face masks during the 1918-1919 Flu epidemic.

All talks were recorded and are being made available with captioning on the Medical Heritage Library YouTube channel (see Session 2 for the “Smoke on Screens” talk).

The Medical Heritage Library (MHL) is “a collaborative digitization and discovery organization committed to providing open access to the history of medicine and health resources.” It was established in 2009 with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to begin digitizing 50,000 medical history texts, and now includes more than 323,000 items made available by multiple contributors through an access portal on the Internet Archive.

UCSF Archives & Special Collections is a contributing partner to the Medical Heritage Library. In 2015-2017 A&SC collaborated with four other medical libraries to digitize and make publicly accessible state medical journals, funded by a $275,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant. 97 journal titles were digitized (nearly every state medical journal in the U.S.) resulting in over 2.7 million full-text searchable pages.

The Industry Documents Library has contributed over 5,000 video recordings to the MHL, beginning in 2012. These videos are part of our Truth Tobacco Industry Documents collection and include recordings of cigarette commercials, marketing focus groups, internal corporate meetings and trainings, depositions of tobacco company employees, and congressional hearings. The recordings document the industry’s marketing and public relations strategies to cast doubt on the harms of smoking and to prevent or delay public health regulations.

Screenshot from 1960 Flintstones commercial for Winstons cigarettes.
Screenshot of 1960 Flintstones TV commercial for Winston cigarettes, available in the Industry Documents Library collection of the Medical Heritage Library on the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/tobacco_djq03d00

New Ways of Working Together

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When the UCSF Library closed its buildings on March 16, 2020 to comply with shelter-in-place orders, library staff, like everyone, had to adjust to a significant change in work routines and responsibilities. In particular, our Access Services staff — who normally greet visitors at the front desk, check out books and other materials, manage interlibrary loan deliveries, and provide in-person help and information — faced a sudden need to shift their focus to remote activities.

Meanwhile the interest in online access to library materials was surging, and the Archives and Special Collections (A&SC) and Industry Documents Library (IDL) staff were working hard to expand digitization-on-demand services and to create and update descriptions for digital collections.

In light of these rapidly changing developments, the Access Services and A&SC/IDL teams came together in April 2020 to pilot a new initiative, which has resulted in increased access to our digital collections and a wonderful opportunity to work with colleagues across departments. Read more about this exciting ongoing project in Library News.

Image of a laptop screen showing a video call with multiple participants
“Zoom call with coffee” by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

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.