Oral History Program

Currently in development

In 2021, the National Museum of Forest Service History received a generous financial gift for the development and support of an oral history program. In September 2021, the museum hired Dr. James B. Wall to develop and implement the Museum’s comprehensive Oral History Program. We have begun the interviewing process and expect to build an authoritative library of oral histories that will document America’s rich conservation legacy. All our interviews are captured in professional quality video, preserved according to industry best practices, and transcribed accurately for our patrons and researchers.

One of the Oral History Program’s major objectives involves the creation of a comprehensive reference database that provides an accurate portrait of the constellation of conservation-related interviews archived across the country. Once this database reaches maturity, it will be made available to our patrons and researchers in pursuit of sources for the next great work in conservation history. Another central purpose of the NMFSH Oral History Program will be our Annual Public History Event. This will serve as an opportunity to bring real life narrators from various oral history projects to our museum campus each summer for a series of public history panels. Each year will revolve around a specific group of narrators and a theme. In 2022, the Museum is proud to feature the stories of “The Early Wives of the Forest Service.” Interviews are currently underway for this project, which is tentatively scheduled for July 2022.

Help us build our oral history collection

If you have been associated with the Forest Service in any way or know someone who has, please fill out our Interviewee Contact Form.

Include any preferred nickname/titles
Please describe your career with the Forest Service, including years served, various titles held, responsibilities, locations/National Forests you worked in, and any major events/highlights experienced.

Know of an existing oral history collection?

If you have a lead on an archival oral history collection that would be of use to the program, please follow the link below to fill out a Suggested Oral History Collection Form.

Address as many of the following questions as you can: When was this project conducted? How many interviews are housed there? What is the theme/historical topics addressed? How does this relate to Forest Service History? Are they video or audio interviews? Are the videos/audio tracks available to stream online? Are the interviews transcribed? If so, are those interviews available online?)

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