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STOP AIDS Project records now available for research

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Stanford University Libraries Department of Special Collections and University Archives is excited to announce the completion of the processing of the STOP AIDS Project records. This effort was made possible by a detailed processing grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Established in 1985, a year in which an estimated 8,000 gay and bisexual men became infected with HIV in San Francisco, the STOP AIDS Project works to prevent HIV transmission among all gay and bisexual men through multicultural, community-based organizing. The grant allowed the project team to process over 370 linear feet of organizational records including textual, photographic, audiovisual and computer media between October 2011 and September 2012. For more information on the background and scope of the project please see this previous blog post.

The collection offers researchers a rich set of material documenting the groundbreaking HIV prevention efforts of the STOP AIDS Project. Included are files related to the wide range of topical workshops, meetings, community forums and other educational events offered by the STOP AIDS Project. A vast collection of anonymous behavioral risk assessment surveys conducted during street outreach as well as during events such as workshops, community forums and street fairs provide unique insight into the demographic and behavioral characteristics of gay and bisexual men in San Francisco from the 1980s to the 2000s. Also included are program planning and execution files related to STOP AIDS Project’s wide-ranging programs geared towards the needs of specific groups within the communities they serve, including QAction, Positive Force/PLUS, Chico Chats, FLIQ, Our Love, BOY+BOY and In Our Prime. The STOP AIDS Project’s active media and communications activities are also well documented, and include flyers, brochures, cards, and other material promoting programs and events, press releases, magazine and newspaper clippings, newsletters and social marketing campaign materials.

The administrative activities of the STOP AIDS Project are chronicled in the collection, and include financial records, annual reports, Board of Directors meeting minutes and agendas, fund development records, grant writing and administration files (both through government and private funding entities), and human resources, training and volunteer services files. The records of STOP AIDS Project staff members, subject and referral files, and artwork and visual aids are also included.

A large set of posters created by the STOP AIDS Project to promote its events, programs and social media campaigns are present in the collection, as are safe sex and HIV awareness posters from other AIDS organizations in the United States and from around the world. The grant allowed the project team to catalog the posters to the item level, and during the course of the grant period, 187 posters were digitized by Digital Library Systems and Services (DLSS). The digital images are in the process of being accessioned into the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) for long-term preservation. Once accessioned, a link to the digitized posters will be provided from the collection finding aid.

The STOP AIDS Project records also contain a large set of audiovisual materials. The project team worked closely with the donor to select 67 audio and video recordings as high priority for digital reformatting and preservation. This work was completed during the grant period by the Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL). Video footage includes interviews, public service announcements and materials used to produce FLIQs - stylish topical films about sex and relationships. Materials that have been digitally reformatted may be accessed in the Special Collections reading room.

This project marked the department’s first large-scale project to capture and process born-digital files in production mode. Born-digital collection material consists of documents, graphics, spreadsheets, databases and presentations created and/or stored on computers by STOP AIDS Project staff and volunteers. Forensic software was used in order to capture disk images of floppy disks, CD-ROMs, zip disks, and other computer media in the STOP AIDS Project collection and 27,607 files totaling 5,925 MB are available for research. The materials have been screened for private/confidential information, but have not been arranged beyond file type. This material is available for use in the Special Collections reading room by scheduling an appointment with the Digital Archivist, Peter Chan.

The STOP AIDS Project records represent one of the largest collections available to researchers documenting the activities of an HIV/AIDS prevention organization. It also provides a unique lens through which to view the history and culture of the San Francisco Bay Area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community, including the experiences of marginalized ethnic minorities and subcultures. The STOP AIDS Project records finding aid contains a detailed listing of the collection’s contents. The finding aid has been posted on the Online Archive of California and can also be found via the collection’s Searchworks catalog record.

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