Mathilde Krim Papers Open

Mathilde Krim, by Annie Leibovitz

Archives & Special Collections is pleased to announce the opening of the papers of Dr. Mathilde Krim (1926-2018), biomedical scientist, pioneer AIDS activist, and philanthropist.  Krim also had a long connection with Columbia: she was on the faculty of the University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Mailman’s Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR professorship of global health is named in her honor.

To access information about the papers, researchers should start with the record in CLIO, the Columbia University Libraries’ online public access catalog: From there a link connects to the finding aid.

At the outset of the AIDS epidemic Krim recognized the urgent need to meet its devastating medical and social effects.  In 1983, she founded the AIDS Medical Foundation (AMF), the first private organization to support AIDS research.  Two years later AMF and the National AIDS Research Foundation merged to become the American Foundation for AIDS Research, popularly known as amfAR (it is now known as amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research).  It soon became the country’s leading non-profit organization devoted to supporting AIDS research, prevention, and scientifically sound public health policy. Besides being amfAR’s founding chair, Krim served as its Board chairman from 1990 to 2004.  In these roles she became one of the country’s most visible advocates for the need to adequately fund AIDS research as well as an outspoken champion of the human rights and dignity of persons with AIDS.

Krim’s papers are 65 cubic feet in extent, housed in 182 boxes. They are largely professional in nature and cover her entire career, dating from circa 1948 to 2016.  Besides her AIDS activism, the papers contain much relating to her important earlier work with Interferon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  The papers include printed-out email correspondence, letters, memoranda, notes, reports, minutes, meeting materials, financial statements, grant applications, photographs, speeches, interviews, congressional testimony, conference proceedings, brochures, programs, and audiovisual materials.

The bulk of the papers is open to researchers without restrictions.  A small amount of material is closed for a specific period of time while access to other records is restricted under the terms of the Privacy Rule of the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The papers were processed and the finding aid written by Jennifer Ulrich, Technical Services Archivist, with the assistance of Cameron Mitchell, Library Assistant.  For more information about the Krim Papers please contact Archives & Special Collections at

Photo: Mathilde Krim, by Annie Leibovitz