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Betsy Brinson collection of AIDS epidemic exhibit materials

Identifier: M 558

Content Description

The bulk of the collection consists of oral history interviews conducted by Betsy Brinson in 2016 and 2017 with people who volunteered and worked with affected communities in the Richmond area during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s. There are seven different interviews on cassette, all about thirty to forty minutes long. The interviews are digitized with links to the files in Series 1.

Researchers will find content relating to major HIV/AIDS organizations in Richmond that served the community during the AIDS epidemic along with a detailed history of those organizations. These organizations include the Fan Free Clinic, Richmond AIDS Information Network, Central Virginia Aids Services and Education, along with others. Also found in the collection are interview notes, a booklet from Transformation Retreats, and a laminated newspaper clipping describing the exhibit.

The collection provides insight into how HIV/AIDS has and continues to affect the Central Virginia region, along with the many challenges and hardships that people affected by HIV experienced during the epidemic. A researcher doing research on non-profit organizations, specifically Richmond non-profits, will find this collection to be extremely useful.


  • Creation: 1998, 2016-2017

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Historical Information

The contents of this collection are associated with an exhibit presented at the Richmond Public Library in 2017 titled “The Modern Plague: Voices and Images of the Early AIDS Epidemic” by Betsy Brinson and Kathy Yost Benham which shared the stories of the communities and community allies who experienced the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 1990s in central Virginia, particularly Richmond.


.42 Linear Feet (one document box)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into two series: Series 1: Oral Histories, 2016-2017 and Series 2: Related materials, 1998, 2017

Acquisition Information

Gift of Betsy Brinson in 2017.

A Guide to the Betsy Brinson collection of AIDS epidemic exhibit materials, 1998, 2016-2017
Jonathan Faulconer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the VCU James Branch Cabell Library Repository

Special Collections and Archives 901 Park Avenue
Richmond Virginia 23284 USA US
(804) 828-1108