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Preserving At Risk Tobacco Control Policy Resources

Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Investigator(s): Karen Butter, M.L.
Award Cycle: 2008 (Cycle 17) Grant #: 17RT-0089 Award: $392,644
Subject Area: Public Health, Public Policy, and Economics
Award Type: Research Project Awards

Initial Award Abstract
This proposal is submitted to further the TRDRP aim “to build the research infrastructure in California critical for comprehensive research into tobacco-related diseases and tobacco use and control.” This proposal is a request to continue funding a research resource not a request to fund research.

The Library at the University of California, San Francisco has a long history in collecting, organizing, preserving and disseminating tobacco industry documents and related primary source materials, with an emphasis on issues in California. This project will add high-value, at-risk materials to the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (; materials that support research by scholars, high school and college students, public policy makers, and advocates. Unless prompt action is taken to capture and preserve these materials now, it is likely they will be lost. The Minnesota Depository, the location for a large quantity of documents, is scheduled to close in 2008 and the web site hosting selected documents is likely to close soon due to lack of funding.

The specific aims of this project are to: 1. Collect U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company documents. 2. Provide a permanent digital home for orphan tobacco company documents. 3. Make accessible tobacco industry produced audio and video tapes.

We carefully selected the following material because of its value to the research community and its potential impact on public health for the citizens of California. U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company Tobacco control researchers are increasingly interested in investigating the tobacco industry’s development, testing, marketing and sales of smokeless tobacco products as manufacturers test market these products as safer alternatives to cigarettes and for use in smoke-free buildings. We will acquire, digitize and catalog roughly 47 boxes (estimated 150,000 pages) of original onion-skin invoices, oversized ledgers, and other similar materials and 100 audiotapes and 115 videotapes.

Orphan Documents We will add three sets of orphan documents to LTDL. 1. The Tobacco Institute -- over 1 million documents (est. 4 million pages) obtained by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (in conjunction with the New York State Archives) describing the industry’s political and scientific activities. 2. Pollay Advertising -- 7,500 images from Richard Pollay's collection of tobacco company advertising, promotion and issue ads showing how the industry uses advertising to recruit new smokers despite its claim that it is geared towards getting smokers to switch brands. 3. Canadian Tobacco Trials -- 48,000 pages of court documents from two tobacco industry challenges to Canadian tobacco control legislation covering industry advertising and freedom of speech, industry sponsorship of scientific research, and federal regulation.

Audio and video tapes We will obtain 1,975 tobacco industry audio and video tapes, including material on youth smoking prevention programs and other public relations efforts. We have also acquired 470 videotapes produced by the British American Tobacco Company and 2,000 videotapes from the Tobacco Institute. We will catalog and make selections from this material, and the 215 USSTC tapes, accessible for immediate viewing through the UCSF Tobacco Industry collections on the Internet Archive.

In total this proposal will add 4,205,500 pages and 2,710 audio and video tapes to the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library website. These are significant, unique materials that will support new research and advocacy efforts in California.