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Jon Cohen AIDS research collection, 1941-2007 (majority within 1985-2004)

13,405 items

Jon Cohen is a science reporter for Science magazine, 1990-present. Materials in the collection were collected by Cohen during his research on AIDS and the writing of his 2001 book, Shots in the Dark: The Wayward Search for an AIDS Vaccine. Includes correspondence, reports, journals articles, newsletters, activist materials, corporate promotional materials and conference materials relating to AIDS.

The Jon Cohen collection consists of approximately 10,000 documents or 32 linear feet of materials, including correspondence, conference abstracts, meeting minutes, reports, promotional materials, presentations, and newspaper and journal articles related to the AIDS public health crisis and the response from governments, scientists, activist organizations, and pharmaceutical companies. A large portion of the collection is made up of U.S. Federal documents; of note are documents that Jon Cohen obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documenting Jonas Salk's development of a Polio vaccine as well as the Reagan administration's response to AIDS. Additionally, the collection contains company stock reports, correspondences between scientists, pamphlets on AIDS awareness and prevention from countries across the globe, and newsletters from AIDS activist groups such as AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and Treatment Action Group (TAG).

The largest series in the collection is the Chronological Files, which is divided by year. Early years in the AIDS movement (1980s) have been combined into a single more expansive series. Each year section is subdivided into Events and Reports. The Events sections correlate with international conferences (International Conference on AIDS and Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections being the most prevalent in the collection) while Reports correlate with annual reports by a range of organizations (e.g. United Nations).

Scientific Research is a fairly extensive section of the collection, consisting of materials on the scientific nature of HIV/AIDS and this series has been divided into six sub-series. These sub-series are Immunology, Virology, the Duesberg AIDS hypothesis controversy, Animal Research, Pediatrics and Epidemiology. Materials are alphabetically arranged into subject files on various scientific AIDS related content and include: newspaper clippings, journal article duplicates, other published materials, in addition to some correspondence and notes written by Jon Cohen.

Disease Management is separated into two sections; AIDS Treatment and AIDS Vaccines. The AIDS Treatment sub-series includes subject files on drug treatment, specific drugs, and immune therapy. The AIDS Vaccines sub-series is made up of subject files on clinical trials, general information of AIDS vaccines and overviews of vaccine development arranged chronologically. This series includes newspaper clippings, journal articles, press releases, pamphlets and other related items.

AIDS Internationally is an extensive collection of materials, divided first by continent and then sub-divided by country. The materials covered in this section range from AIDS prevention programs to AIDS awareness programs.

The AIDS Activism series is separated under three main headings: Movements, Organizations and Prevention. Types of materials within this section include newspaper articles, brochures, press releases, flyers, organization publications and newsletters.

The Government Response and Policy series contains both legal and policy aspects. Some of the major areas covered by the Legal section include: the gp160 trials controversy, which contains federal documents, court documents, lobbyist documents, correspondences; documents created by and related to Microgenesys, the company that created gp160; also included are documents related to NIH, such as the Office of AIDS Research and the NIH Revitalization Act (the report itself and press surrounding it). The Policy section includes many small folders of individual policies but mostly consists of two large sections: Immunization Policy and Presidential Policy. Immunization Policy contains hearing notes, press on various policies, and various documents connected with vaccine funding, such as news and correspondences and official documents around the accelerated drug approval reform. The Presidential Policy section handles the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Clinton has the largest portion as it was during his administration that PACHA was created as a federal body to try an approach that worked toward ending AIDS.

The Marketplace series contains separate subject files on corporations that were involved in creating AIDS treatment drugs and researching vaccines between 1988 and 2005. In addition to these subject files, the series also contains documentation on the patents of these AIDS treatments. Material formats include press releases, newspaper clippings, corporate information packets and stock reports.

The Jonas Salk series consists of materials concerning the scientist Jonas Salk, one of the discoverers of the first polio vaccine. This series holds of documents and articles related to that work, as well as the role Salk took in researching a vaccine for HIV/AIDS.

The Robert Gallo series is a large collection of documents connecting to the scientists Robert Gallo, one of the original AIDS researchers whose research into HIV and the AIDS virus was surrounded by controversy.

The AIDS in the Media series contains a collection of materials gathered by Cohen to track various media trends and responses to AIDS. Included in this collection are: activism, AIDS discrimination, vaccine news, predictions, and various other topics that were important in the fight against AIDS. The materials include news clippings, abstract, computer print-offs and photocopies of articles.

Correspondence is separated into three sub-series: Incoming, Outgoing and Response to Cohen Articles. The Correspondence series includes letters, faxes and emails sent to and by Jon Cohen. Many letters concern Cohen’s writings on AIDS at Science magazine.


James W. Toy Papers, 1963-2009 (majority within 1971-1994)

28.9 linear feet (in 32 boxes) — 1 oversize folder (Ac)

The collection is a combination of the personal papers of James W. Toy and the records of the university office (originally named Human Sexuality Office, then Lesbian-Gay Male Programs Office, and later Lesbian-Gay Male-Bisexual Programs Office) where he worked for twenty-three years.

The James Toy Papers covering the period from the late 1960s to 1995 have been arranged into three series: Lesbian Gale Male Bisexual Office, Topical Files, and Correspondence. These groupings were created by the processing archivists as there was no apparent order to the materials as they were received. In 2008, two series-Spectrum Center 1998-2004 and The Peninsula Group were added.

The Office of Equity and Diversity series contains materials from Toy's work with that section of the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action. Materials include meeting agendas and minutes, project files, and notes.


Business records, 1989, 2021, and undated

9.5 cubic feet (in 14 boxes)

The collection consists of Schock's recording business correspondence and the actual recordings, mostly of Mount Pleasant area businesses, organizations, people and schools.

This collection consists of Schock’s recording business correspondence, documenting arrangements and ideas for recorded interviews, commercials, dance recitals, and musical recordings, mostly of Mount Pleasant people, businesses, schools, and organizations, and Central Michigan University faculty and students musical productions, 1991-1997, and undated. Included are paper business correspondence, notes, drafts of scripts, as well as informational materials about the businesses and organizations (1 cubic ft.), and the master and draft cassette recordings (in 6 cassette storage boxes). The Mary McGuire School cassettes document activities school teachers and students pursued after receiving a unique state grant. Hash marks in folder descriptions indicate illegible words written on the cassettes.

The David Schock 2021 addition, 1989, 2021, and undated, consists of various videos Schock contributed to with and without the help of Central Michigan University (CMU). Box 8 contains all health-related videos with majority focusing on HIV/AIDS awareness and a few focusing on various systems of the body. Box 9 includes education-related videos, such as a series titled Problem Solving Students, a series from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education videos, and other educational resources. Boxes 10 and 11 house videos filmed in collaboration with the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) that feature multiple public service announcements (PSAs) and Roll Call videos. Box 12 features raw footage of Schock’s documentary Road to Andersonville. Included with this are interviews for the documentary. Box 13 contains miscellaneous film that do not fit into a clear category. Some examples of this are VHS tapes about quail egg hatching, sculptures, and music.

Box 14 contains materials related to Justice Elizabeth Weaver. Schock helped write Justice Weaver’s book, a copy of which is separately cataloged in the Clarke. Also included are correspondence and interview release forms and Thelma South Schaibly’s 1994 publication of short stories to teach children morals and the meaning of life.

A few folder titles require further description, which we received from the Donor in April 2021. NGS is the abbreviation for the National Geographic Society. Schock created a video for them about geographic education with Mike Libbee of the CMU Geography Department. PDS is likely in collaboration with OHSP. The Hospice Experience documented hospice in Mount Pleasant. The Audition Crashes were stock footage of crashes for the OHSP projects, for example Life’s a Wreck, a film about physics concepts.

The addition is organized by topic, format, and chronological order.

Boxes 8-13 are each 1 cubic foot boxes and Box 14 is .5 cubic foot.

Researchers may also be interested in his personal papers collection, other recordings, and the papers of Elizabeth A. Weaver, which are separately housed and cataloged in the Clarke.

Copyright Note: Copyright is complicated for this collection. CMU holds the copyright for materials used in programs for the CMU Education Materials Center, including interviews from the early 1990s with young people infected with AIDS. The copyright for the Interfaith Ministries immigrant labor tapes, used for final appeals, is held by the Interfaith Ministries, Schock holds the copyright for the Road to Andersonville documentary material, regarding ceremonies held for Michigan Native Americans buried at Andersonville Prison in Andersonville, Georgia.

Permission/Release forms: The only interview permission/release form in the collection is for an interview with one of Elizabeth A. Weaver’s relatives (see Box 14).