Polina Ilieva
Polina is Associate University Librarian for Collections and UCSF Archivist.

Opioid Industry Documents Archive Receives 2023 Archival Innovator Award from the Society of American Archivists

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Opioid Industry Documents Archive (OIDA) received the Society of American Archivists (SAA) 2023 Archival Innovator Award at the Archives ’23 Records conference on Thursday, July 27, 2023. SAA is North America’s oldest and largest national professional association dedicated to the needs and interests of archives and archivists. The Archival Innovator Award recognizes an archivist, repository or group demonstrating the greatest overall impact on the profession or their communities.

UCSF and JHU launched OIDA in 2021 with the aim of providing free access to opioid industry documents to anyone interested in understanding the factors leading to the U.S. opioid epidemic. The archive’s documents are publicly disclosed through legal settlements and arise from ongoing opioid litigation brought by local and state governments and tribal communities against opioid manufacturers, wholesalers, and pharmacies. As of July 2023, the archive contains over 3.1 million documents consisting of over 12.5 million pages.

The SAA Awards Committee commended the OIDA team for building innovative protocols and collaborative practices. The team developed safeguards for legally protected personal and health information and implemented advanced tools that support efficient research. Additionally, the committee praised OIDA’s methods for setting an example for other public health archives.

A resource for all

While OIDA is a rich resource for academic researchers, professionals and learners from various fields engage with the archive. Activists, journalists, policymakers, archivists, medical professionals, computer scientists, students, and community members reference the archive to support their work. Kate Tasker, UCSF Industry Documents Library managing archivist shares, “We are proud of our work on OIDA to be recognized by fellow archivists who know the value of archives as sources of truth. OIDA builds on the strong foundation of the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library. We look forward to continuing to innovate as we work to make these critically important documents accessible to the public.”

For more information, read the SAA 2023 Archival Innovator Award announcement.