What's new with Calisphere and OAC
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Calisphere and the Online Archive of California (OAC) are gateways to unique collections held by libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions throughout California.

New collection highlights

We are thrilled to highlight new collections on Calisphere that feature community voices and stories. These collections are made available in close collaboration with local community members and broaden our worldview through the diverse narratives and myriad perspectives that resonate in the collections.

Spotlight on the AIDS History Project

The UCSF Archives & Special Collections was a pioneering repository that collected materials documenting the HIV/AIDS epidemic, one of the most significant public-health events of the late twentieth century and an ongoing challenge throughout the world.

The AIDS History Project (AHP) began in 1987 as a joint effort of historians, archivists, AIDS activists, health care providers, and others to secure historically significant resources reflecting responses to the crisis in San Francisco. Starting in 1991, the Archives received several grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to fund the survey, acquisition, arrangement, and description of carefully selected records from numerous San Francisco-based agencies and organizations whose work focused on the AIDS crisis.

Most recently in 2017, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded an implementation grant to UCSF Archives, in collaboration with the San Francisco Public Library and GLBT Historical Society, to digitize material related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through this grant, the partners have digitized nearly 147,000 pages from 30 collections, with many already available on Calisphere.

This work recently culminated with an interdisciplinary symposium on October 4-5. Memory Lives On: Documenting the HIV/AIDS Epidemic exploring and reflecting on topics related to archives and the practice of documenting the stories of HIV/AIDS. The symposium was presented by UCSF Library Archives and Special Collections, GLBT Historical Society, San Francisco Public Library History Center, and UC Merced Library as part of the NEH Funded grant project The Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic. Session recordings are now available through the project website.

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Featured Collaboration

Sherman Indian Museum and the UC Riverside Library

The Sherman Institute (now Sherman Indian High School) has played a significant role in Riverside, California since 1901, serving as home to thousands of Indigenous children from throughout the United States. In 1970, the Sherman Indian Museum was founded to safeguard the history of the School and has preserved thousands of photographs and documents detailing the experiences of Native American boarding school students in Southern California.

Since 2017, the Sherman Indian Museum has been working with UC Riverside (UCR) Library to digitize the museum’s archival collections and make them available online. Nearly 14,000 digital items from this collection are now accessible on Calisphere through Digitizing Hidden Collections, a grant administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and generously funded through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Project Update

"Toward a National Archival Finding Aid Network" Action Plan

We are pleased to share the following action plan, which represents the culmination of "Toward a National Archival Finding Aid Network" (NAFAN) -- a one-year (October 2018-September 2019) planning initiative convened by the CDL, with the participation of representatives from multiple regional finding aid aggregations, and input from expert advisors:

At the heart of the action plan are recommendations for and principles to guide next steps to implement a sustainable national-level finding aid network, based on a phased, incremental approach that: moves this effort from a research and demonstration project to a program; is informed by a research agenda; and, from the outset, includes work to establish business and governance models that fit the infrastructure and service model and are grounded in the community’s organizational and financial capacity. For additional background on NAFAN and work leading to the action plan, see the project wiki.

Please join us on December 18 at 1:00 PM for a webinar to discuss the planning initiative outcome, and our plans for OAC in relation to facilitating work towards realizing a national-level finding aid network. See below, for details.

Upcoming Webinars!

DPLA Analytics Dashboard

DPLA maintains an "Analytics Dashboard" that provides detailed data on how your digital collections on DPLA are being used. CDL is a DPLA Service Hub, and we share any metadata record that you contribute to Calisphere with DPLA. Contributed metadata is openly available and searchable on the DPLA website, just as it is on Calisphere.

Join us on November 22 at 10:00 AM as we provide a sneak peek into the Dashboard. We'd also like to hear from you as we explore how we could share this data with all of our Calisphere contributors.


Save the Date!
Friday, November 22 at 10:00 AM

Please register to receive meeting details.

NAFAN and OAC Update Webinar

Join us on December 18 at 1:00 PM for a webinar reviewing the outcomes of the “Towards A National Finding Aid Network” planning initiative and our plans for OAC in relation to those outcomes.


Save the Date!
Wednesday, December 18 at 1:00 PM

Please register to receive meeting details.

Tips and Reminders!

For ArchivesSpace users contributing to OAC

If you use ArchivesSpace to create and submit EAD finding aids to OAC, you'll notice that the latest version 2.7.0 includes an optional new feature to support Archival Resource Keys (ARKs). Please note, however, that the OAC currently only supports ARKs minted by CDL. For more information, see our community forum.

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