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Diverse Narratives and Myriad Perspectives: New Collections on Calisphere!

We are thrilled to highlight 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.

Most recently in 2017, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded an implementation grant to UCSF Archives, in collaboration with the San Francisco Public Library and GLBT Historical Society, to digitize material related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through this grant,  the partners have digitized nearly 147,000 pages from 30 collections, with many already available on Calisphere.

Images: AIDS History Project collections.
Images from the AIDS History Project collections.

This work recently culminated with an interdisciplinary symposium on October 4-5. Memory Lives On: Documenting the HIV/AIDS Epidemic exploring and reflecting on topics related to archives and the practice of documenting the stories of HIV/AIDS. The symposium was presented by UCSF Library Archives and Special Collections, GLBT Historical Society, San Francisco Public Library History Center, and UC Merced Library as part of the NEH Funded grant project The Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic. Session recordings are now available through the project website.

Featured Collaboration: Sherman Indian Museum and the UC Riverside Library

The Sherman Institute (now Sherman Indian High School) has played a significant role in Riverside, California since 1901, serving as home to thousands of Indigenous children from throughout the United States. In 1970, the Sherman Indian Museum was founded to safeguard the history of the School and has preserved thousands of photographs and documents detailing the experiences of Native American boarding school students in Southern California.

Since 2017, the Sherman Indian Museum has been working with UC Riverside (UCR) Library to digitize the museum’s archival collections and make them available online. Nearly 14,000 digital items from this collection are now accessible on Calisphere through Digitizing Hidden Collections, a grant administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and generously funded through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Images from the Sherman Indian Museum collection.
Images from the Sherman Indian Museum collection.

California Revealed from StoryCenter

CDL continues to work with California Revealed, a State Library initiative to help California’s public libraries and local heritage groups digitize, preserve, and provide online access to archival materials (books, newspapers, photographs, audiovisual recordings, and more) that tell the incredible stories of the Golden State.

California Revealed from StoryCenter is a new collection that features unique voices from our communities. As founders of the digital storytelling movement that empowers people to use digital tools to tell their ‘story’ — StoryCenter (formerly the Center for Digital Storytelling) has helped over 20,000 individuals share their personal stories.

Since 1993, StoryCenter has worked with nearly a thousand organizations around the world to train people to share accounts from their own lives, transforming the way that community activists, educators, health and human services agencies, business professionals, and artists think about the power of the personal voice in creating change. These stories are now available on Calisphere.

Image: California Revealed from StoryCenter collection
Videos from the California Revealed from StoryCenter collection.

The California Revealed Project is supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), administered in California by the State Librarian. Additional California Revealed collections will be added to Calisphere over the coming months.