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PG 345: Intersectionality as Theory and Method

ACT UP Poster


This guide is intended as a starting point for an archival research project about safe sex education after the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. "Silence = Death" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1969 - 1997. 


Analyzing Primary Sources: Public Health Information During the AIDS Epidemic

Primary sources are the raw materials of research - original, uninterpreted information or evidence of the topic you are investigating. A primary source on its own is likely only a snippet or snapshot of the full picture; thus it is often difficult to interpret without additional context. The following activity will give you an opportunity to practice analyzing primary source documents.

Working with a partner, explore 2-3 documents in this set and respond to the following questions, keeping in mind the goals and themes of this course. 

  1. Who created these documents? What can you surmise about the author/group's identity or societal positioning? Who is the intended audience?
  2. How would you describe the content? What kinds of information about HIV/AIDS is provided? What is at stake for the creator(s) of these texts and what are their goals?
  3. How do these documents help us understand how various groups influenced public health information during the epidemic?
  4. What additional sources would you seek out? Note any questions you have and identify unfamiliar concepts, people, events, or terms for further research.

Featured Encyclopedia

Recommended Subject Encyclopedias

Start with these subject encyclopedias and branch out as needed. 

Print encyclopedias and dictionaries are located on the first floor of Collins Library.

Online Resources

These resources can help you identify important developments and events in the history of AIDS activism.

Online Reference Collections

Not sure where to look? Each of these online collections will introduce you to a wealth of dictionaries and encyclopedias.