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ACT UP records

 Unprocessed — Box: 1
Identifier: Z15-005

Content Description

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. The collection includes fliers, petitions, reports, negatives/photos, and several VHS tapes documenting ACT UP/Boston's AIDS activism, primarily in the early 1990's. Also included are 24 audio cassette tapes of Robert Folan-Johnson's journal.

Restrictions Apply


Use Restrictions

Requests for permission to publish from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.


  • Creation: ca. 1990-2013


1 cubic feet (1 cubic foot in 1 records center carton.)