Project description: This collection chronicles two Kentucky distilleries, Buffalo Trace and Jim Beam, with interviews from family members, employees, and local historians. Topics addressed in the collection include the history and process of bourbon production, governmental regulations of bourbon, the industry’s economic struggles and successes, family involvement in the companies, and the industry’s effect on the community.
Project description: This project documents issues involved in growth management in Florida, particularly as they relate to planned community design and the environment. Interviewees include a banker, a professor of architecture, lobbyists, and a land developer.
Regulatory significance: These interviews cover a range of regulatory topics related to growth management and the environment, particularly water quality and beach erosion.
Project description: Interviews in this series were initiated by the Los Angeles Regional Planning History Group to ensure the preservation of recollections of pioneer planners in both the public and private sectors in the Los Angeles region. [Description from the finding aid]
Regulatory significance: This series captures the origins and development of land use regulation in a major U.S. city.
Project description: Interviews in the California Water Resource Development project were conducted to “document historical developments in California’s water resources” with a focus on planning, administration, and policy making. Water for LA interviews are part of the broader California project, but address issues specific to the Los Angeles area and are presented separately on the UCLA website.
Project description: This is the catch all for interviews housed at the Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) at UC – Berkeley related to water resources in California. Most of the interviews are with government officials, politicians, conservationists, and academics.
Regulatory significance: These interviews deal in depth with regulatory strategies to conserve water and improve water quality across the 20th century. Interviewees include managers of the Metropolitan Water District, the Department of Water Resources, and various policy entrepreneurs.
Regulatory significance: Some interviews discuss state and federal agriculture, natural resource, and conservation policies and programs. Interviewees include AAA officials, land owners, farmers, and participants in local soil conservation and irrigation districts. See especially interviews on the AAA and cotton with Wofford Camp and Cully Cobb.
Project description: This is the catch all for interviews housed at the Regional Oral History Office at UC – Berkeley related to land-use and planning. These range from interviews with architects, ranchers, land developers, conservationists, state attorneys, and government planners.
Regulatory significance: These interviews provide considerable insight into the evolution of local and regional land-use planning from a wide variety of perspectives. Resource management—particularly water and soil—is a heavy focus, as is coordination among various agencies and levels of government. One set of interviews focuses on the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Several interviews look at resource management and land-use planning in other countries, including Greece, China, Israel and parts of Africa and Latin America.
Project description: This is the catch all for business history interviews housed at the Regional Oral History Office at UC – Berkeley. These are interviews with major West Coast players in a wide variety of industries and business sectors: textiles, shipping, banking, agriculture, import-export businesses, etc. Most of the interviews are extensive life histories and transcripts run to hundreds of pages.
Regulatory significance: A large swath of these interviews at least touch on regulatory issues related to the specific industries that the interviewees worked in. This is a very rich collection for exploring the perspective of business on government regulation. Of particular note on financial regulation is an interview with Walter E. Hoadley, former Federal Reserve system director.
Collection description: The Washington State Legislature maintains an oral history program that collects interviews with influential legislators, from the 1930s onward. Most of the interviews are conducted in a biographically oriented life history style, and are extremely long, running to more than 500 pages as transcripts. Interviewees address their experience in the Washington State Legislature as well as other experiences in the private sector and federal office.
Regulatory significance: These interviews cover a gamut of regulatory issues at the state level, including labor regulation, environmental regulation, and the role of lobbyists.
Location: Washington State Legislature in Olympia, Washington
Dates: 1983 – present
Access: Open to the public
Digital access: Transcripts for all but the most recent interviews are available online, as well as other digital material including photos and biographies.
Project description: This project consists of more than 1,200 interviews conducted across the U.S. South in an effort to document African American daily life during the Jim Crow era.
Regulatory significance: Some of these interviews offer a glimpse at the role of federal regulation in attempting to redress racially discriminatory laws and practices in the Jim Crow South. A few highlight the role of local regulatory bodies, such as agricultural commissions and zoning boards, in perpetuating racial inequality.
Project description: This project contains more than 30 interviews with individuals who worked to address southern poverty in their communities up to the early 1990s. The focus of the interviews is on efforts after the passage of major federal civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965, including those related to Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.
Regulatory significance: Many of the interviewees discuss issues that stem from overlapping regulatory jurisdictions at the local, state, and federal level. Health care, housing, employment, and agriculture are major themes, and some interviewees discuss environmental regulation to improve the health of the rural poor.
Project description: The Bera-Olina Community History project has approximately 50 interviews with residents of the community in southern California. Many interviewees spent their careers in the local oil fields.
Regulatory significance: Four interviews discuss inspections, safety regulations, and local government as it pertained to oil extraction.
Project description: These 44 interviews involve people on all sides of a controversy in western Minnesota over the routing of power lines. Per the finding aide, “the controversy escalated as costs of the project rose and additional frustration was created by cumbersome review processes, and by what many protesters saw as excessive concern by the federal and state governments for wildlife areas and highway right of way at the expense of protection for productive farmland.”
Regulatory significance: This project effectively captures a kaleidoscope of views over what tradeoffs regulators should make. Interviewees include politicians, regulators at the Department of Natural Resources, affected farmers, and board members of the electric cooperatives.
Project description: Per the finding aide, the Mississippi Headwaters Board was created to coordinate the identification and protection of the natural, cultural, historical, scientific, and recreational values of the first 400 miles of the Mississippi River. Its work centered on eight counties in north central Minnesota through which this portion of the river flows. The 14 people interviewed discuss their own river-related activities, as well as their observations on changes in recreational, commercial, and residential use of the river and its shoreline. Many of the interviews include comments on water quality, floods, droughts, dam construction, fishing, wildlife, and conservation.
Regulatory significance: Collection deals with many issues of local environmental regulation, including water quality ordinances, and trade-offs with business interests—particularly agriculture and development.
Project description: A series of interviews conducted by journalist Linda Mack with individuals who were influential in the redevelopment of the Mississippi River riverfront in central Minneapolis. The narrators discuss the social, industrial, architectural and political history of the Minneapolis riverfront, the many and often conflicting plans for its redevelopment, and the actions taken to create the successful urban district that exists in 2008-2009. The project includes 26 interviews with 29 people. [Description from the finding aid]
Regulatory significance: Some of the interviews hit at least tangentially on land use and environmental regulation, particularly historic preservation and redevelopment of industrial space.