ACT UP members protest George Bush's response to AIDS.

ACT UP / Boston (Raymond Schmidt and Stephen Skuce) collection

The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP / Boston) was founded in 1987 by activists Raymond Schmidt, Stephen Skuce, Donald Smith, and Paul Wychules to focus local efforts to speed up the development of AIDS treatments, educational programs, and prevention strategies. The membership was a diverse, nonpartisan group of people united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis in Boston and throughout the country. The organization was most active from 1988 - 1994 during which time it held demonstrations, die-ins, sleep-ins, and vigils to increase public awareness of the AIDS epidemic. Through its efforts, Astra, a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, was persuaded to allow expanded access to its experimental drug outside the clinical trial setting, and the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company changed its policy to cover the cost of off-label use of a medication for people with AIDS. Moreover, ACT UP / Boston was responsible for making the City of Boston one of the first cities in the country to institute a needle exchange program for IV drug users.

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AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc. records

The AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc. was founded in 1983 by a group of volunteers. The AIDS Action Committee began its life as a special committee of the Fenway Community Health Center and in 1986 became an independent entity. It is the oldest and largest organization in New England dedicated to helping persons with AIDS and HIV. Their mission is to provide support services to people with AIDS and HIV and to their families and friends; to educate the general public, health care professionals, and individuals whose behavior could put them at high risk for HIV infection; and to advocate at the local, state, and federal levels for effective AIDS public policy and funding.

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Fenway Community Health Center records

The Fenway Community Health Center was founded in 1971 by David Scondras, Linda Beane, and nursing students from Northeastern University to serve the elderly, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities of the Fenway area of Boston. During the 1980s, the Center expanded its services and began a formal research program, largely in response to the rise of HIV infection. Center staff regularly presented their research work at national and international HIV, AIDS, and gay health conferences, and the Center was responsible for the first official diagnosis of AIDS in New England in 1981. In 1983, the AIDS Action Committee was formed as a discussion group at the Center and later became an independent organization. During the 1990s, the Center began formal fundraising and community outreach efforts, hosting the first Women's Dinner Party event in 1992 and founding the Color Me Healthy initiative to provide HIV and safe sex education to gay men of color in Boston. The Center became more involved in area events, including the Boston to New York AIDS Ride, Boston Pride, and AIDSWalk Boston.

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Keri Lynn Duran papers

Keri Lynn Duran was an activist and educator who worked on behalf of people with HIV and AIDS. After being diagnosed with HIV and later AIDS, Duran became involved in a number of AIDS activist, education, and support services organizations, particularly ACT UP / Boston and AIDS Project Worchester. She was the first person in Worcester, Massachusetts, to go public with her HIV status when she was interviewed by a reporter for the Telegram & Gazette in February 1990. Duran was an advocate for greater recognition, politically and medically, of issues unique to women with AIDS. She was given a Special Commendation from clients of AIDS Project Worchester, the Jeff Barmeyer Award for AIDS Activism from the Greater Boston Gay and Lesbian Political Alliance, and recognition by Governor William Weld on behalf of the Citizens of Massachusetts for her work in AIDS education.

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ACT UP/Boston (David Stitt) collection

David Stitt was a member and volunteer with the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power Boston chapter (ACT UP/Boston). He was involved with a few of the organization's projects, most notably the production of Attitude! newsletter. Stitt also participated in the "rubber fairies" (a program to promote safer sex) and the IV League (a needle exchange program). ACT UP/Boston was founded in 1987 as a way to focus local efforts in support of the development of AIDS treatments, AIDS educational programs, and AIDS prevention strategies. ACT UP/Boston worked to effect changes in government and health care policies as well as medical research to address the AIDS crisis.

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Boston Living Center records

The Boston Living Center began in 1988 as a peer-run community center and meals program for individuals with HIV/AIDS. The Center expanded its outreach activities and now offers daily meals as well as many events, workshops, and fundraisers for the AIDS community. Its two largest events are their annual Celebration of Life Thanksgiving Dinner and annual fundraiser Dinnerfest. Originally located in the Clarendon Street YWCA, the Center moved to 29 Stanhope Street in 1995. In 2012, the Boston Living Center merged with Victory Programs, a Boston organization dedicated to the needs of the city's homeless.

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G. Derrick Hodge papers

G. Derrick Hodge was a member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power Boston (ACT UP/Boston) and Queer Nation/Boston in the early 1990's. Hodge served on ACT UP/Boston's discrimination, benefits, and finance working groups. ACT UP/Boston was founded in 1987 by activists Raymond Schmidt, Stephen Skuce, Donald Smith, and Paul Wychules to focus local efforts to speed up the development of AIDS treatments, educational programs, and prevention strategies. The membership was a diverse, nonpartisan group of people united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. Queer Nation was an offshoot of ACT UP, created in response to elevated anti-gay and lesbian violence in the early 1990's.

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Milburn Devenney papers

Milburn Devenney is a social worker and registered nurse in the Boston area who worked with AIDS patients during the 1980s and 1990s, primarily through the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc. (AAC). Devenney completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Humanistic Counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1980 and, during the period this collection covers, Devenney was a graduate student at St. Mary's College, working toward his M.A. in Human Development. This collection consists primarily of publications and training materials related to Milburn Devenney's activities providing support for persons with AIDS and HIV.

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Positive Directions, Inc. records

Positive Directions was a non-profit organization founded in 1987  that sponsored alternative education and support programs, including the AIDS Mastery workshop for people living with AIDS, their caretakers, service providers, family and friends. Staff and volunteers of the grassroots organization provided information, counseling, employment assistance, advocacy, and access to community resources for individuals with HIV or those directly affected by HIV. In 1996, Northern Lights Alternatives, which was founded in 1989 to improve the emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being of people affected by HIV/AIDS, merged with Positive Directions to from one organization. Positive Directions closed in 2002.

This collection is unprocessed. 

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