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Finding aid to the David Charnow Upper Westsider papers, 1987-1990

Finding aid prepared by Loni Shibuyama, (c) 2013

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator - Creator
Charnow, David, 1942-1990
Title
David Charnow Upper Westsider papers
Collection no.
Coll2013.004
Date [inclusive]
1987-1990
Extent
0.7 linear feet., 1 archive carton.
Language
English
Abstract
Electronic bulletin board printouts from The Backroom, 1987-1990, a New York-based computer bulletin board service (BBS) co-moderated by David Charnow. Known as the Upper Westsider, Charnow was instrumental in establishing and maintaining "Survivors," a section of the The Backroom BBS that served as a discussion forum for people with HIV/AIDS.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] David Charnow Papers, Coll2013-004, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

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Biography

Born on March 18, 1942, David Aaron Charnow received his Bachelor's degree in Comparative Religion and his Master's degree in Special Education from Columbia University and Teachers College, respectively. His special interest was in learning-disabled students and students with dyslexia in particular. From 1968 until 1971, Charnow was a teacher, supervisor and principal in schools for learning disabled students in New York and Washington, DC. In 1973, he went to Korea as a Peace Corps volunteer to teach. In addition, he occasionally lived and worked in Kibbutz in Israel during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1982, Charnow returned to Teachers College as a doctoral student in the Department of Family and Community Education.

Charnow was instrumental in establishing and maintaining "Survivors," a discussion forum for people with AIDS posted on The Backroom electronic bulletin board service (BBS). Under the name "Upper Westsider," Charnow co-moderated the electronic BBS, providing supportive words and information for people with AIDS and their friends and families. A curated collection of these BBS messages, which Charnow entitled "Survivors, Conversations with Upper Westsider, 1987," was reprinted (or re-posted) by The Backroom BBS in 1988, and includes messages from thousands of persons sent anonymously through the electronic BBS. As he wrote, "You will find many of [the messages] informative, emotional, gut wrenching, happy, sad, etc., but most of all you will find them educational. They will teach you about AIDS from the perspective of people that either have it or are involved with it in 'real life' on a regular basis."

Charnow died of AIDS-related illness on July 23, 1990.

Source: [Box 1, folder 1] David Charnow Papers, Coll2013-004, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

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Scope and Contents

The collection comprises printouts from The Backroom, 1987-1990, a New York-based computer bulletin board service (BBS) co-moderated by David Charnow. Known as the Upper Westsider, Charnow was instrumental in establishing and maintaining "Survivors," a section of the The Backroom BBS that served as a discussion forum for people with HIV/AIDS. The collection consists of a curated selection of messages posted to the electronic BBS entitled "Survivors, Conversations with Upper Westsider, 1987," as well as transcripts from conference proceedings and interviews, including discussions with Dr. Joyce Wallace, Dr. Michael Lange, Griffin Gold and Michael Hirsch.

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Arrangement

The David Charnow Biography folder is at the beginning of the collection. The remaining folders are arranged chronologically.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
(c) 2013
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition

Donated by Susan Charnow Richards, September 10, 2000.

Processing Information

Formerly housed in box 103-311. Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, January 2013.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Transcripts

Subject(s)

  • AIDS (Disease)--Diaries
  • AIDS (Disease)--Patients
  • AIDS (Disease)--Social aspects
  • Computer bulletin boards
  • Electronic discussion groups

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Collection contents 

Box Folder

 David Charnow biography 1990 

1 1

 "The Backroom" printouts, transcripts January-April 1987 

1 2

 "The Backroom" printouts March-October 1987   [2 folders]

1 3-4

 Survivors, Conversations with Upper Westsider printouts April 1987-June 1990   [5 folders]

1 5-10

 "The Backroom" printouts, Frank and Serge August-December 1987 

1 11

 "The Backroom" printouts, excerpts on the quilt May-June 1988 

1 12

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