Session 407: Documenting the epidemic: preserving and making accessible HIV/AIDS History

There is great interest in developing a survey of national and international collections that document the HIV/AIDS crisis. This idea is particularly relevant for me, because we hold the AIDS Education Posters Collection and we’re considering what other kinds of materials we may want to collect.

Several interesting ideas and questions came from the panelists:

Victoria Harden, a History PhD asked How do people of our time respond to this epidemic? How do we preserve this history, in light of the mortality of those immediately effected?

Jason Baumann emphasized the conversations he and his staff have with newer and younger activists to keep the crisis of the epidemic alive and not considered “history”.

The panelists addressed gaps in their collections, which included:

Oral histories with recent survivors
Records from the CDC
Documents from contemporary activists
The lack of diversity of groups and persons represented in existing collections
Documentation of the epidemic from the perspective of drug users

Do you have collections that document HIV/AIDS???

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