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 collection consists of 19 interviews conducted from the 1970s to the present documenting environmental activism in the Los Angeles area. Most interviewees were founders or “major participants” in important regional environmental organizations.
Regulatory significance: Interviews touch on both local and federal regulations and provide insight into the development and activities of local environmental groups and national advocacy organizations with substantial presence in the LA area (especially the American Lung Association). These groups’ efforts to influence regulatory policy and participate in negotiated rule making processes are key to several interviews in the project.
Project description: One of the most recent projects of the Regional Oral History Office at UC – Berkeley, Slaying the Dragon of Debt explores why the national debt has grown so significantly since the late 1970s. Its major focus is on federal budgeting and shifting policy views on debt and taxes.
Regulatory significance: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is discussed extensively, with some attention to its metaregulatory role. The bulk of these interviews, however, are focused on more direct forms of governance.
Project description: This is the catch all for interviews housed at the Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) at UC – Berkeley related to Ronald Reagan’s gubernatorial administration from 1967 – 1975. ROHO also lists relevant interviews housed at other California repositories.
Regulatory significance: Interviews cover a variety of regulatory topics, including consumer affairs, financial regulation, health care, and farm labor conditions.
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.
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.
Project description: The Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society has a collection of more than 150 oral history interviews with judges and lawyers who played significant roles with the circuit, which covers the states in the western U.S. including Alaska and Hawaii. Copies of many of the interviews are available at other repositories, particularly the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley.
Regulatory significance: No specific information about the content of interviews are available in the finding aid, but this collection could likely contain information on federal regulations as applied and enforced in the U.S. West. This is likely a significant source for judicial rulings on environmental and land-use regulation.
Interview dates: 1987 – present
Digital access: No online access
Physical access: Copies of interview materials may be requested from the historical society, located in Pasadena, California. Visitors must contact the organization in advance. Some materials are available at other institutions. See the finding aid for specifics.
Project description: The Middle District of Florida Historical Society has sponsored an oral history project on federal judges of the Middle District Court, whose jurisdiction includes Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville. About a dozen interviews were conducted by staff members at the University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.
Regulatory significance: No specific information about the content of interviews are available in the finding aid, but this collection could likely contain information on federal regulations as applied and enforced in Florida.
Interview dates: 1987-2009
Digital access: No online access
Physical access: Interview materials should be on location at the historical society in Orlando, Florida, but researchers are encouraged to call in advance of any visit.
Project description: The National Institutes of Health have conducted more than 100 interviews, some conducted by the History Associates and some conducted by oral historians on staff at the Office of NIH History.
Regulatory significance: Many of the interviews are highly technical discussions of medical techniques and research, but some of them discuss the evolution of safety regulations for hospitals, medical devices, and diseases like HIV/AIDS.
Interview dates: ~1964-2009
Digital access: Transcripts of many of the interviews are available online.
Physical access: Researchers will need to call or email to make an appointment to visit the Office of NIH History in Bethesda, Maryland.
Project description: The FTC catalogues oral histories with eight former commissioners. Only one of these interviews was conducted by the FTC; the rest were conducted for presidential libraries and universities.
Regulatory significance: Some of these interviews deal at length with regulatory issues at the FTC during the commissioners era and beyond—see especially the interview with Mary Gardiner Jones, and to a lesser extent, those with Stephen Spingarn and Lowell B. Mason. Others, such as the interview with Leon Higginbotham, deal mostly with Washington personalities and the longer political biography of the interviewee (particularly in connection with the presidents they served under).
Interview dates: Widely varied
Digital access: Transcripts are available online for interviews with Mary Gardiner Jones (1964-1973); Leon Higginbotham (1962-1964); Stephen Spingarn (1950-1953); Lowell B. Mason (1945-56).
Physical access: Interviews in various repositories, including presidential libraries and Columbia University.
Project description: The project involved 35 interviews with Minnesota psychiatrists. Per the finding aide, the interviews begin with recollections of the 1940s and 1950s and trace the progress of medicines, the perception of mental illness, and practice of psychiatrists in rural and urban Minnesota.
Regulatory significance: Many of the interviewees played key roles in the Minnesota Psychiatric Association and the Minnesota Medical Association, and the collection speaks to regulatory issues of professional legitimization through licensing practices and self-regulatory organizations.