Scope and arrangement
The records of the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) document the three aspects of the organization's activities and contain brochures, correspondence, memoranda, minutes, pamphlets, photographs, posters, questionnaires, reports, sound recordings, surveys, video recordings, and other material. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, memoranda, and reports regarding GMHC's safe sex education programs and client services.
The collection is arranged by the departments of the organization, beginning with the Executive Director and then continuing alphabetically from the Board of Directors through Women's Education Services. The largest series is the Education Department which contains material on GMHC's groundbreaking safe sex and AIDS prevention programs, dissemination of AIDS information, and training programs for health care workers. The Client Services records contain minutes of Buddy Teams, Crisis Intervention Workers, and Crisis Management Partners meetings. These minutes contain detailed information on how the volunteers assisted PWAs, the rapid spread of AIDS in the early days of the epidemic, and the physical and emotional toll these had on the PWAs and the volunteers. More information about each department can be found in the series notes.
Electronic records can be found throughout the collection, though the bulk of the computer files represent the work of the Education Department's various units. Of note are the files of Franklin Carson, the interim director for the department in the early 1990s. His electronic files fill in a gap in the paper records of his predecessor and successor. The files of this department also include components of the Hotline's database, which can emulate the database used by hotline counselors when answering caller's questions and directing them to services. The database contains information regarding doctors, social services, and businesses that supported or served PWAs. The electronic records also document GMHC's efforts to disseminate information through issues of the organization's newsletters AIDS Clinical Update and Treatment Issues.
The records as a whole reflect the explosive growth of GMHC and often contain overlapping or similar material within and across departments. During the first ten years of its existence, the organization had to react quickly to the changing needs of its clients by expanding and creating departments, new programs, and positions. As a result of this, some series may contain material similar to another series. For example, GMHC's work with specific populations, such as prisoners, intravenous drug users, or the hearing impaired may be found across the collection as their needs were addressed through public policy, direct services, topical broadcast television productions, and discussed in administrative correspondence and board meeting minutes. Also, one unit may contain material relating to another unit due to GMHC's restructuring of departments. Occurrences of significant overlap between departments are described at the series or subseries levels.
The Gay Men's Health Crisis records are arranged in sixteen series:
This series contains minutes of board meetings, packets created to prepare executive directors for board meetings, correspondence with board members, and material from committees of the board.
This series contains correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, and other material created by and sent to the executive director.
The series contains reports, memoranda, and correspondence from the Client Programs department. Included here are statistics and summary reports on existing programs and proposals for new programs. The series is divided into three subseries and contains the administrative files of the department, records of the Deaf AIDS Project, and records of the Tuberculosis Education and Treatment Support Program. This series contains electronic records.
Included are training manuals and handbooks, statistics on clients, and recreation program descriptions. There are three subseries, the Administrative Files, records of the Crisis Intervention Services, and Nutrition Assessment Forms. Video recordings associated with this series can be found in Series XVI. B. 1.
Administrative files of the Communications Department consist of memoranda and reports for various departments within GMHC describing their programs. The files reflect the close collaboration the Communications Department had with the Public Policy Department. A large portion of the Communication Department’s work was ensuring that the public was consistently briefed on GMHC’s AIDS public policy and understood how GMHC services interfaced with city and state services for PWAs. There are also lists of reporters and news sources with which GMHC had contact. The file entitled Media Reporting contains letters to editors of various newspapers and a paper on media coverage of AIDS before Rock Hudson's revelation that he had the disease.
This series is divided into three subseries: Administrative Files; Special Events; and the records of Patricia Evert who served as assistant director of Development and Special Events Director. Video recordings associated with this series can be found in Series XVI. B. 2. This series contains electronic records.
The series is arranged by departmental units and two general categories: Surveys and Questionnaires and Topical Files. These last two categories contain material maintained and utilized across the department. Video recordings associated with this series can be found in Series XVI. B. 3. This series contains electronic records.
This series contains memoranda, project proposals, questionnaires, surveys, interview transcripts, reports, and grant applications. The series is divided into three subseries: Administrative Files, Research Materials, and Topical Files. This series contains electronic records.
This series contains brochures produced by the Legal Services Department and a manual for volunteer attorneys.
This series contains correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, and other material from the Office of the Ombudsman. The series is arranged into three subseries: Administrative Files, Case Files, and Resource Information Files.
This series contains candid photographs of GMHC events. The events include a party at 26 Perry St.; two Luau Nights, one at the first Recreation Services building; a New Year's Eve party; a Western Night; a Halloween party; and a trip to Atlantic City. Also documented is the opening party of GMHC's headquarters at 129 W. 20th Street, Some of the photographs were used for a collage that was later dismantled. Few of the individuals pictured in the photographs are identified.
The series is divided into five subseries: Administrative Files, the Alcohol and Other Drugs Workgroup, the Committee for AIDS Funding, Organizations Files, and Topical Files.
This series contains correspondence, memoranda, minutes, and other material from various staff groups and events at GMHC. Included are agenda, memoranda, and minutes related to meetings attended by and memoranda sent to the entire staff; minutes from meetings of the Assistant Directors Group; flyers from miscellaneous staff groups at GMHC announcing classes, support groups, events, and special offers for staff members; memoranda and minutes of meetings of the Staff Caucus, created in 1989 to improve communication between the staff and management of GMHC; and material from the Union Organizing Committee.
This series contains correspondence, memoranda, minutes, questionnaires, reports, and other material from the Substance Use Counseling and Education program at GMHC. The series is divided into two subseries: Administrative Files and Group Files. Video recordings associated with this series can be found in Series XVI. B. 5.
This series contains correspondence, memoranda, and other material from the Women's Education Services division of GMHC and is divided into two sections: Administrative Files and the Lesbian AIDS Project (LAP). LAP was created to conduct outreach to HIV positive lesbians, make them feel welcome at GMHC, and provide education and other services. Included in the Administrative Files are files on the creation of brochures for WES, the development of Women's Open Houses held at GMHC, and workshops for women. The LAP section contains manuals for workshops and memoranda on LAP Notes, the program's quarterly national newsletter.
The Audiovisual Department was created to raise public awareness; serve as a means of communicating the medical, social, and psychological ramifications of the HIV/AIDS epidemic; and to support prevention and training programs. In addition to producing its own programming, the department assisted other GMHC departments by documenting training sessions and creating promotional and outreach videos. The department, created in 1987, was originally staffed by an audiovisual specialist, Jean Carlomusto, and an assistant coordinator, Gregg Bordowitz. In the mid-1990s, Juanita Mohammed and Chas Brack were the specialist and assistant coordinator, respectively, with Carlomusto and Bordowitz still working part-time. The Audiovisual Department, which was originally under the auspices of the Publications Department, later became part of the Education Department.
This series is arranged into five subseries: Broadcast Productions, Departmental Productions, Oral Histories, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), and Miscellaneous. Broadcast Productions contains material from three shows: AIDS Network, Outreach, and Living With AIDS. The bulk of the material consists of original footage used for the Living with AIDS television show, the longest running of the three broadcast shows. Additional guest videographers produced Living with AIDS segments, adding a range of perspectives that contributed to the broad scope of the show. These videographers include Marina Alvarez, Sarah Cawley, Ronald Dodd, Andres J. Figueroa, Laura Ganis, Alexandra Juhasz, Ray Navarro, Steven Okazaki, Catherine Saalfield, Kristin Thomas, and Paul Zakrzewski. Also included in this series are departmental productions, including films that explicitly demonstrate safe sex practices, oral history interviews, and public service announcements.
The series consists of both unedited original footage and masters of completed works. The original tape numbers were retained when available and usually demonstrate the sequence in which the footage was shot. Interviews consist of unedited interviews with one or more subjects. Original footage consists of footage of events, b-roll, or dramatizations, as well as occasional interviews with subjects involved in the event or dramatization.