This exhibit describes the response by the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, from 1982 to 1996, using documents, photographs, graphics, audio, and video from the King County Archives.
The exhibit and oral histories are not intended to provide a comprehensive history of AIDS in Seattle-King County, but rather to document one facet of the history: the accomplishments, challenges, and perspectives of Public Health staff.
In addition, the records presented here are only a small percentage of the Archives’ Public Health collection, and the exhibit only touches on some of the complex issues and challenges faced by the program and the community. Researchers are encouraged to contact the Archives to review the collection, which includes records from beyond this exhibit’s 1996 cutoff date.
A printable version of this exhibit is available for download (PDF, 35.4 MB, 140 pages). The print version is reformatted to a folio layout and provides transcriptions of the oral history clips incorporated throughout the exhibit.
As the Archives processed the records of the AIDS Prevention Project and began research for this exhibit, former AIDS Prevention Project Coordinator Tim Burak helped us identify people, places, and events in collection photos. On hearing just a few of Tim’s reflections and stories, it became apparent that the unique experiences and perspectives of people working in public health were missing from the familiar narrative of the AIDS epidemic in our region. We hope that the interviews will help complete the historical record.
Oral history interviews with former and current employees of the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health were produced with support from a 4Culture Heritage Project Grant funded by the 4Culture/King County Lodging Tax Fund.
We are grateful to all who shared their stories for the oral history project. Thanks to Michael Brown, Lawrence Knopp, and David Reyes—volunteers with the Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project—who generously donated their time planning for and conducting the oral history interviews. Thanks also to King County videographers Tim O’Leary and Judi Chapman for recording the interviews. Professional transcription services were provided by Jackson Street Associates.
Special thank-yous to Archives staff and volunteers: to King County Archives volunteer Kimberly Mann for her work processing the archival collection, researching, writing, and scanning materials for this exhibit, and planning and applying for grant funding of the HIV/AIDS Oral History Project; to King County Assistant Archivist Rebecca Pixler for her work arranging, processing, and describing the collection; researching and writing for the exhibit and interviews; and for her leadership in pulling together and helping guide the oral history team; and to former Assistant Archivist Amy Holloway who processed the records of Dr. Bob Wood.
Finally, sincere thanks to Tim Burak, Patricia McInturff, Hunter Handsfield, and Dr. Bob Wood for reviewing the site and providing critical feedback and helpful suggestions.
Editing and Web design and development by County Archivist Carol Shenk.