Archives and Special Collections collects the records of the Columbia University Medical Center campus and materials documenting the history of the health sciences. As part of our mission, the Archives also collects personal papers from alumni, former faculty and staff to document the history of CUMC, affiliated institutions, and the campus. Fortunately, our repository received the gift of the Alan Berkman papers in 2013, which are now open for research.
A quick bio: An alumnus of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (MD 1971), Alan Berkman was involved in militant revolutionary groups during the 1970s-1980s, such as the Weather Underground, May 19th Communist Organization, and the Black Liberation Army. He was involved in armed robberies and lived as a fugitive with other well-known members of these groups. Berkman was incarcerated and served his time, but once released from prison, returned to his career as a clinician, treating underserved patients, particularly the homeless, mentally ill, parolee populations, and those living with HIV/AIDS. He was diagnosed with cancer while incarcerated and died at the age of 63 in 2009. You can read a more detailed biography in the finding aid for his papers.