Blogs > Cliopatria > Regional Oral History Office

Feb 28, 2007 5:04 pm

Regional Oral History Office

Oral history is both an important resource for social and cultural historians and a genre of history in its own right. The Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) at the University of California (UC) Berkeley preserves the history of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, and the Western United States on a wide variety of topics.

Topics include politics and government, law and jurisprudence, arts and letters, business and labor, social and community history, UC history, natural resources and the environment, and science and technology. ROHO has full-text transcripts of more than 270 interviews online (some with audio recordings). Offerings include the “Free Speech Movement Digital Archive," that documents the role of participants in the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in 1964 as well as its origins and legacy; “Exploring Diversity and Access at UC," examining the experiences of African American faculty and senior staff at UC Berkeley with six interviews; “Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front" project, exploring the wartime experiences of Bay Area residents, with 23 interviews; and “Suffragists," featuring eight interviews with major figures in 20th-century suffragist history. There are two searchable databases, divided chronologically from 1954-1979 and 1980-1997, of abstracts from the more than 1,250 interviews in Berkeley's offline collection. The site also contains an essay on"Oral History Tips" and two"One-Minute Guides" to"Conducting an Oral History" and"Oral History Interviewing." A useful resource for those researching the cultural or social history of California and the West in the 20th century.

Read a more in-depth review written by Linda Shopes of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission at Or explore other website reviews at History Matters.

comments powered by Disqus