Soil Conservation Service Oral History Collection

Project description: These interviews were conducted in 1981 by the official historian of the Soil Conservation Service, Douglas Helms. The interviews were with “long-time employees,” some of which joined the SCS at its inception in 1935. Employees worked across the country, ranging from Oregon to Alabama.

Regulatory significance: Topics include: National Environmental Policy Act, watershed management, the work of the office of the administrator of the Soil Conservation Service, soil classification system, ways of achieving farmer participation in conservation programs, Civilian Conservation Corps, Great Plains Conservation Program, Strip Mine Commission, forest management, and relationships between SCS and Congress and state governments.

Repository: Iowa State University

Interview dates: 1981

Digital access: No online transcripts or audio.

Physical access: For transcripts and audio, visit the special collections department at Iowa State University.


Food and Drug Administration Oral History Program

Collection description: The FDA began its oral history program in the mid 1970s, interviewing staff members towards the end of their careers. Per the oral history program’s description, “Though the program’s early focus was on agency staff directly connected to enforcement work, the History Office today collects oral histories from staff at all levels and across the agency.” More detailed information on the program can be found here.

Regulatory significance: This is a rich collection that explores in great detail the regulatory process from frontline monitoring to higher level rule-making.

Dates: 1974 – present

Digital access: Partial and full transcripts of many of these interviews can be found on the FDA website.

Physical access: Tapes and transcripts of the oral histories are deposited in the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Interviewees: ~150

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Collection description: At least two projects have collected interviews with former EEOC administrators and staff. In 1999, students at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) conducted eight oral history interviews with former EEOC staff members. Additionally, the EEOC conducted video interviews with about a dozen EEOC staff members and other stakeholders for its 35th anniversary.

Regulatory significance: Some of the interviews contain rich information regarding the evolution of the EEOC, on the ground investigations and enforcement, its relationship with employers and labor unions, and intraoffice conflicts.

Dates: 1999-2000

Digital access: Transcripts—some full, some partial, and some merely summary—of interviews conducted through Southwest Texas State University are available online. The links to video interviews conducted by the EEOC appear to be broken, and full transcripts are not available.

Interviewees: ~20

Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society

Collection description: A website operated by the Securites and Exchange Commission Historical Society,, hosts over 100 oral histories conducted with former SEC officials and employees. Interviews were largely conducted by the company History Associates. Most entries feature both audio and an edited transcript of the interview.

Regulatory significance: Many interviews delve deep into details of SEC operations. Contains valuable information about all phases of the regulatory process, but particularly rule-making, monitoring, and enforcement.

Location: SEC Historical Society, Washington, DC

Dates: 1964 – present, the majority after 2000.

Access: Open to the public.

Digital access: Most transcripts and audio available online.


Interviewees: More than 160