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UC Merced Library to Digitize AIDS Archive through NEH Award

April 17, 2017

The Archives and Special Collections department of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Library, in collaboration with the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) Historical Society, has been awarded a $315,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  In collaboration, UC Merced Library’s Digital Assets Unit, which has established a reputation for digitizing information resources, will be responsible for digitizing the 49 archival collections related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the San Francisco Bay Area, making them available to the public online.

“The San Francisco Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic:  Digitizing, Reuniting, and Providing Universal Access to Historical AIDS Records” project will begin on July 1, 2017. The materials to be digitized range from handwritten correspondence and notebooks to typed reports and agency records and printed magazines, as well as photographic prints, negatives, transparencies, and posters. All items will be carefully examined to address any privacy concerns. The digital files created by this project will be disseminated widely through the California Digital Library through both Calisphere, operated by the University of California, and the Digital Public Library of America, which will have an AIDS history primary sources set.

Haipeng Li, UC Merced’s University Librarian has responded that "the UC Merced Library is very pleased to be partnering on this project, which builds upon our long-standing collaboration with UCSF Library to digitize rare and unique materials in the health sciences. Our students and researchers, especially those involved in UC Merced’s growing public health program, will benefit from wider access to the AIDS history materials and I am sure the experience and expertise of our staff will enable them to contribute significantly to the success of the project."

For more information on this important project, check out UCSF’s Archives and Special Collections blog.