1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Act Up Albany (N.Y.) Chapter Records


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This collection details records kept by the ACT UP organization committed to ending the AIDS crisis.


Act Up Albany (N.Y.)
Date Coverage:
2.47 cubic ft. (about 2.47 boxes)

In March 1987, ACT UP, AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, was formed in New York City by a group of people as a diverse, nonpartisan organization of individuals united in anger and committed to ending the AIDS crisis.

ACT UP is a national and international nonpartisan activist group whose mission is to fight for "an end to the AIDS crisis." The goals of ACT UP's direct action include: explicit prevention education (such as distribution of condoms and sex education in schools), information about and access to treatments for AIDS, an end to discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS, including the loss of jobs and benefits, and an "emergency" effort to find a cure for the disease.

Since its inception in March 1987 at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in downtown Manhattan, the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power grew to thousands of members in more than 70 chapters in the U.S. and worldwide. ACT UP's non-violent direct action, often using vocal demonstrations and dramatic acts of civil disobedience, focuses attention on the crucial issues of the AIDS crisis.

On June 17, 1989, the Albany Chapter of ACT UP called for the city to distribute clean needles to drug users and reintroduce and pass a homosexual rights ordinance. In addition, ACT UP, a group whose purpose is to educate American youth about AIDS prevention, opened its first college chapter at the University at Albany, SUNY in 1990. The Albany Chapter was affiliated with the New York City ACT UP Chapter. A main goal of the group was to educate students and young people about AIDS.

The collection documents the activities of ACT UP, Albany New York Chapter, and other chapters from its creation in 1987 to 1992. The collection consists of administrative files such as handbooks for activists, activism in various chapters, the AIDS Curriculum Lesson for the City of Albany, AIDS education and preventive guides and programs, correspondence, minutes, and papers of the Health Systems Agency of Northeastern New York, Inc., from 1990 to 1991. It also includes several legal documents related to human rights, penal law, and public health law, and meeting notes.

Also included in the collection is a videotape, programs and fliers from Albany and other chapters, workshop programs, a boycott fact package, activism related to prisons and AIDS, board of education policies of Massachusetts, New York, and San Francisco. In addition, the collection includes materials from HIV regional forum, numerous news clippings and news releases, draft plan for HIV/AIDS services, and public comments on AIDS. The collection also includes publications about budget funding for AIDS in New York State, reports and research papers, journals, and newsletters published by other organizations.

The strengths of this collection are the posters, fliers, and other activism material from ACT UP chapters. In addition, most of the materials in this collection are in good condition. The collection's lack of administrative records for the Albany chapter is a weakness.

The inactive records of ACT UP/NY were deposited in the New York Public Library in 1996 and the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn also hold materials related to ACT UP activities in New York.

The collection is organized into the following series:

All series are arranged alphabetically by subject

  • Series 1 - Administrative Files, 1989-1992
  • Series 2 - Subject Files, 1983-1984
  • Series 3 - Publications, 1988-1992

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by the Social Justice Center in October 2000.

Processed by: Gyuok Kim in 2012.

Collection record created by: Ian Banker

Published: 2013

Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.

We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Copyright Statement

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Act Up Albany (N.Y.) Chapter Records, 1983-1992. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).

Contents of Collection

Quantity: 0.20 cubic ft. (about 0.20 boxes)
Arranged alphabetically by subject.
This series contains records about the ACT UP Albany Chapter and other ACT UP chapters' materials dating from 1989 to 1992. It includes a handbook about ACT UP Chapter activism, AIDS education programs and lessons, correspondence and minutes, laws, and meeting notes.


11 A Handbook for Activists, ACT UP 1991


12Activism, ACT UP Chapters, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Philadelphia, and Shreveport1991-1992


13AIDS Curriculum Lesson, City School District of AlbanyUndated


14AIDS Education and Preventive Guides and ProgramsUndated


15Correspondence, Albany Chapter1990-1991


16Correspondence, New York State1989-1991


17Draft of Personnel Policies for Regular Employees, Social Justice Center1990


18Health Systems Agency of Northeastern New York, Inc., Correspondence, Minutes, and Papers1990-1991


19Health Systems Agency of Northeastern New York, Inc., Correspondence, Minutes, and Papers1991


110Laws, Human Rights, Penal, and Public HealthUndated


111Meeting Notes, Albany Chapter1990
Quantity: 0.83 cubic ft. (about 0.83 boxes)
Arranged alphabetically by subject.
This series includes a VHS videotape titled A First Step: AIDS Prevention for Drug Abusers, material related to activism in Albany and other chapters, the annual report of the Albany County Department of Health including budget funding of AIDS programs, Board of Education policies, news clippings and news release from 1986 to 1991, and other materials from across the U.S.


11A First Step: AIDS Prevention for Drug Abusers, VHS TapeUndated


12Activism, ACT UP Chapters, Programs and Fliers1989-1992, Undated


13Activism, Albany Chapter, Programs, Fliers and Drafts1989-1990, Undated


14Activism, Cornell Cooperative Extension Workshop1990


15Activism, Miller Brewing Company Boycott Fact Packet1990


16Activism, Prisons and AIDS1991


17Annual Report of Albany County Department of Health1988


18Board of Education Policies, Massachusetts, New York, and San Francisco1988, 1990-1991


19Department of Social Services and the AIDS Institute, HIV Enhanced Fees for Physicians Program (HIV-EFD)Undated


110Exhibition of Brothers' Keepers Foundation, Russell Sage College Gallery1990


111HIV Regional Forum, State of New York Department of Health1991


112News Clippings1983-1984, 1987-1991, Undated


113News Release1989-1990, Undated


114Plan for HIV/AIDS Services in Northeastern New York, Draft1990-1991


115Public Comments on AIDS, Public Forum1990


Oversized 11Activism, Albany Chapter, PostersUndated


Oversized 12Activism, Posters and FliersUndated
Quantity: 1.44 cubic ft. (about 1.44 boxes)
Arranged alphabetically by subject.
This series documents many reports and publications relating to AIDS published by various organizations. Some of these organizations include the New York State Department of Health, Office of the Attorney General, and the New York African American Institute. Various newsletters and magazine, journals, and handbooks are also included.


11 A Guide to HIV Counseling and Testing, New York State 1988, 1990, 1991


12 Albany County Health Assessment 1988


13AIDS Directories, New York State1990-1991


14AIDS in New York State, New York State Department of Health1987-1989


15 AIDS New York's Response 1989


16AIDS Surveillance Monthly Update, New York State1990


17AIDS Update, New York State Department of Social Services, Newsletters1991


18 Budget of New York State 1990-1991


19Focus on AIDS in New York State, Newsletters1990-1991




111HIV Regulations 1070 and 1072, New York State Division of Substance Abuse Services1989


112Icons and Actions; ACT UP and the Construction of a Nemesis, Research Paper1991




114 Living with AIDS: United Church of Christ Perspectives 1988




116National Commission on AIDS, HIV Disease in Correctional Facilities, Reports1991




118PWA Support, Newsletters1989-1990


119Reports1987, 1989-1991, 1983-1992


120Reports, ACT UP1991


121Report, Commission on Racial, Ethnic, Religious, and Minority Violence1990


122Report, Committee on Children, Youth, and FamiliesUndated


123Reports, The Coalition for Safe Health Care1991


124Report, The VII AIDS Conference ReportUndated


125Research Papers1991, Undated


Oversized 13Gay Community News, Newsletters1988-1989


14Gay Community News, Newsletters1990-1991


15Gay Community News, Newsletters1991