Register of the Guerrilla Clinic Records, 1982-(1985-)1990

Processed by Special Collections staff; supplementary encoding and revision supplied by Brooke Dykman Dockter.
UCSF Library & CKM
Archives and Special Collections
530 Parnassus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94143-0840
Phone: (415) 476-8112
Fax: (415) 476-4653
© 2000
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Register of the Guerrilla Clinic Records, 1982-(1985-)1990

Collection number: MSS 90-13

UCSF Library & CKM

Archives and Special Collections

University of California, San Francisco

Contact Information:

  • UCSF Library & CKM
  • Archives and Special Collections
  • 530 Parnassus Ave.
  • San Francisco, CA 94143-0840
  • Phone: (415) 476-8112
  • Fax: (415) 476-4653
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Special Collections staff
© 2000 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Guerrilla Clinic Records,
Date (inclusive): 1982-(1985-)1990
Collection number: MSS 90-13
Creator: Guerrilla Clinic
Extent: 1 carton
Repository: University of California, San Francisco. Library. Archives and Special Collections.
San Francisco, California 94143-0840
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Guerrilla Clinic Records, MSS 90-13, Archives & Special Collections, UCSF Library & CKM

Organizational History

The Guerilla Clinic was an informal, "underground" group of AIDS activists who obtained unapproved, experimental drugs (mostly from Mexico) and distributed them at cost to PWAs who wanted them. This carton of records was produced and/or compiled by Blaine Elswood, who donated them to UCSF's Special Collections in 1990. Elswood was a founder and major activist of the Guerilla Clinic.
Most of these files involve the drug Dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB). During the mid 1980s, DNCB was being used by some PWAs as a topical treatment for Kaposi's Sarcoma. Elswood had personally benefitted from using it, and talked to other PWAs and a few providers who believed there was sufficient evidence to warrant legalization, or at least testing, of this promising drug. He fought a long and hard battle with the medical establishment to bring attention to, and stimulate research on, DNCB as a treatment for KS. By 1987 Elswood, with the encouragement of Dr.Donald Abrams, began to draft an FDA Grant for DNCB Study. This grant was submitted and approved in 1988.
The original donation consisted of two cartons of records; this was narrowed to one carton during arrangement. Removed were numerous duplicates, envelopes (return address and mailing date were noted on enclosures when needed), general AIDS pamphlets and reprints, and the following three books:
  • Bolen, Jean Shinoda; Tao of Psychology: Synchronicity and the Self, Harper and Row, 1979
  • Fettner, Ann Giudici and William A. Check; Truth About AIDS: Evolution of an Epidemic, Henry Holt, 1985
  • Jung, C.G.; Synchronicity, Princeton/Bollingen, 1973
A number of personal items belonging to Blaine Elswood have been kept, including his passport, desk calendar and daily schedule books, and records related to his employment. All are related to the Guerrilla Clinic. One booklet that isn't directly related was retained; this is the self published In the Heat of Passion by ex porn star Richard Locke. Locke spoke, taught, and wrote about safe sex - insisting that people could and should enjoy a healthy sex life while maintaining a vigilant "safe sex only" standard. This copy of his booklet is signed to Ellswood by Locke. Two audio cassettes and three videotapes (VHS format) were also donated to UCSF's AIDS Video Collection.


  • Book:
    • Richard Locke, In the Heat of Passion,
      Date: 1986
  • Audio-Cassette Tapes:
    • "Guerrilla Clinic Story", NPR Broadcast,
      Date: 5/30/87,
      Two Tapes
  • Video Tapes:
    • NBC Broadcast from Nightly New "Underground AIDS",
      Date: 4/2/87
    • Broadcast, WPLG TV Miami; "Nothing To Lose",
      Date: 11/18/87-11/20/87
    • Broadcast, KPIX TV S.F.; "Underground Drugs",
      Date: 2/22/88-2/24/88


Series 1: Organizational Records

Carton Ctn. 1, Folder 1

B.E. 1973 Passport, Notes 1982-1985 (Holds List of Kamakaizes)

Folder 2

B.E. Chronological Files: 7/84 - 9/85

Folder 3

B.E. Chronological Files: 10/85

Folder 4

B.E. Chronological Files: 11/85

Folder 5

B.E. Chronological Files: 12/85

Folder 6

B.E. Chronological Files: 1/86

Folder 7

B.E. Chronological Files: 2/86 - 5/86

Folder 8

B.E. Chronological Files: 6/86 - 9/86

Folder 9

B.E. Chronological Files: 10/86 - 12/86

Folder 10

B.E. Chronological Files: 1/87 - 2/87

Folder 11

B.E. Chronological Files: 3/87 - 4/87

Folder 12

B.E. Chronological Files: 5/87 - 12/87

Folder 13

B.E. Chronological Files: 1/88 - 3/88

Folder 14

B.E. Chronological Files: 4/88 - 5/88

Folder 15

B.E. Chronological Files: 6/88 - 7/88

Folder 16

B.E. Chronological Files: 8/88 - 12/88

Folder 17

B.E. Chronological Files: 1/89 - 3/89

Folder 18

B.E. Chronological Files: 4/89 - 8/89

Folder 19

B.E. Chronological Files: 9/89 - 2/90

Folder 20

"Exhibits" A - G (7/85-11/85)

Folder 21

" N. Y. Native Bombshell" Packet, 12/85

Folder 23

B.E.'s Labwork Reports 10/85-1/86

Folder 24

B.E.'s 1986 Desk Calendar

Folder 25

B.E.'s 1986 Daily Schedule Books

Folder 26

NIH Report "Future Directions for AIDS Research" (1987)

Folder 27

Profiles of Ward 86 Med Staff

Folder 28

Jim Henry: Profile "Readers of Names" (Quilt), 1987

Folder 29

Jim Henry: Photographs (Dispensing DNCB)

Folder 30

B.E.'s Employment at Soc Sec Admin, 1987

Folder 31

B.E.'s FOIA papers, 1987-1988

Physical Description: (1 of 2 folders)
Folder 32

B.E.'s FOIA papers, 1987-1988

Physical Description: (2 of 2 folders)
Folder 33

B.E.'s Employment Application for UCSF, 1987

Folder 34

FDA Grant for DNCB Study, Drafts & Comments (3/87-1/88)

Folder 35

Grant Application to FDA for DNCB Study, April 1988

Folder 36

"Alternative Therapies" Donald Abrams, MD (1989)