Archives and Special Collections
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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Collection Overview
Name of Creator:AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
Title:AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc. records
Date:1975–2007 (bulk 1987–1996)
Reference Code:M61
Location Code:46/3, 66/2–3, 68/4, FF4/D1–D2, RS9/52
Extent:36.83 cubic ft. (45 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:The records of the AIDS Action Committee document the organization's founding and programs; the long–term strategies and goals of the board and administration; the AIDS Action Committee's involvement with other AIDS–related organizations and political entities, and the history of the AIDS disease in New England and nationwide. The collection spans 1975–2007, with the bulk of the material falling between 1987 and 1996. Highlights of the collection include materials on the AIDS Action Committee's education and prevention campaigns, such as posters from the subway advertising campaigns, and materials on the AIDS Education at Work program. Also of note are the Events files in Series 6, which illustrate the activities the AIDS Action Committee sponsored to raise funds and to heighten awareness of the AIDS Action Committee and AIDS.
Historical Abstract:The AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc. was founded in 1983 by a group of volunteers. Larry Kessler, one of the founders of the AIDS Action Committee, became its first Executive Director in 1983. 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 Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The AIDS Action Committee's 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.
System of Arrangement:Organized into 7 series: 1. Governance; 2. Public Policy and Legal Affairs; 3. Communications; 4. Administration and Human Resources; 5. Client Services; 6. Development and 7. Education
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Kessler, Larry, 1942–
  • AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc.
  • AIDS (Disease) –– Massachusetts
  • AIDS (Disease) in women –– Massachusetts
  • AIDS activists –– Massachusetts
  • Benefit performances –– Massachusetts
  • Health care reform –– Massachusetts
  • Lobbying –– Law and legislation –– Massachusetts
  • Nonprofit organizations –– Massachusetts
  • Safe sex in AIDS prevention –– Massachusetts
  • Voluntarism –– Massachusetts
  • Walk–a–thons –– Massachusetts
Conditions Governing Access:Box 3, folder 24 is restricted.
Related Archival Materials:

The Archives and Special Collections Department capture the website content of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, which is accessible at*/

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Jordan Barnes, Susan Earle, Catherine Lea, Michelle Maing, Kendra Van Cleave, and Claudia Willett, October 2014, February 2015