Scope and arrangement
The Joseph A. Sonnabend Papers contain interviews, lectures, and press clippings; correspondence; published and near-print materials; legal case files and depositions; organizational records, clinical trial records, and grant applications and research proposals; scientific research, article drafts, charts, graphs, and notes; conference materials; and ephemera. The materials in this collection date from 1963 through 2004.
This collection documents the work of a laboratory scientist, physician, clinical researcher, and community advocate from the onset of the AIDS epidemic. It is especially significant since it documents both the scientific and community efforts of the first twenty-three years of the epidemic in New York City. The papers are particularly strong in documenting both Dr. Sonnabend's belief in and commitment to community organizations, especially regarding the community-based research he pioneered, as well as his approximately forty years of research into interferon and AIDS. Dr. Sonnabend's private life is not documented in this collection.
This collection also documents Dr. Sonnabend's professional relationship with Dr. Mathilde Krim through correspondence and organizational records, tracing their relationship from their early days as interferon colleagues through their work establishing community AIDS organizations.
Prior to giving his papers to The New York Public Library, Dr. Sonnabend grouped them by subject. His organization was used as a basis for the arrangement of this collection; since he imposed this order upon his papers, materials were not separated unless clearly misfiled. For example, drafts associated with his research files were left in Series VI.A.1. National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London rather than being separated into Series II. Writings. Given the nature of AIDS research, confidential medical information has been removed from the collection. In some cases, small amounts of identifying information have been redacted in order to retain the other information present.
The Joseph A. Sonnabend papers are arranged in six series:
- 1981-1995, 1998, 2004, n.d.1 box
- 1970-2004, n.d.2 boxes
- 1964-circa 2001, n.d.2 boxes
- 1982-1987, 1991-1992, n.d.1 box
- 1980-1999, n.d.9 boxes
Series V. Community AIDS organizations is divided into four subseries: V.A. American Medical Foundation, V.B. Community Research Initiative/Community Research Initiative on AIDS, V.C. PWA Health Group, and V.D. Other organizations.
- 1963-2001, n.d.12 boxes
Series VI. Research files is divided into three subseries: VI.A. Interferon, VI.B. Sexually transmitted diseases, and VI.C. AIDS.
The majority of the materials in this series have been kept in their original order at the folder level.