The New York Public Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Division is pleased to announce the opening of the records of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)
. The collection comprises 170 linear feet of GMHC records, chiefly dating from 1982 to 1999, including correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports and brochures that document all aspects of the organization’s activities. Also of particular interest is the nearly 1,000 video recordings of interviews with founders and early members of the organization, public service announcements, and segments from GMHC’s cable-access show, Living with AIDS. GMHC’s records show the rapid expansion from grassroots initiative to a national leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS.“Since the early years of the AIDS epidemic, the New York Public Library has been a safe haven for GMHC’s internal documents, educational publications and film footage, chronicling the extraordinary history of the first AIDS service organization in the nation,” said Marjorie Hill, PhD, GMHC’s Chief Executive Officer. “GMHC’s history is inextricably linked to LGBT history. The LGBT Collections speak to the courage, pain, beauty and power of a community that is still very much a part of the leadership in the fight against AIDS. We are honored to be partners with the Library and are forever grateful for its longstanding commitment to these important collections, including GMHC’s archives.”
Founded in 1982, GMHC serves to educate the public about HIV/AIDS, provide care services for people with AIDS, and advocate at all levels of government for fair AIDS policies. A volunteer-supported, community-based organization, GMHC provides care services to its clients and members of the general public regardless of HIV status, gender, or sexual orientation. Initially, GMHC provided hands-on, intensive care for people with AIDS in hospitals and their homes, provided legal advice, and disseminated timely information about HIV prevention to affected populations. GMHC continues to provide these services, but now focuses on helping people living with HIV/AIDS to have healthy and productive lives; addressing the legal, financial and other critical issues facing its clients; providing HIV testing and prevention education; and advocating for fair policies and scientifically-sound public health programs.
“The processing of GMHC’s archives is a milestone that has been accomplished thanks to the tremendous efforts of staff across the Library—including archivist, technical, digital library and fundraising staff—as well as major donors,” said Jason Baumann, Coordinator of the Library’s LGBT collection. “The history of GMHC’s heroic response to the AIDS crisis has been preserved for posterity, and for the current needs of scholars, documentarians, and activists.”
To celebrate the opening of the records, the Library will hold a special one-day only viewing of select materials, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., in Astor Hall of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, located on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Please join us!