Oral History Program

In Their Own Words

In 2021, the National Museum of Forest Service History received a very generous financial gift for the development and support of an oral history program with three major goals:

    • Capture and preserve individual oral histories from America’s conservation history using professional quality audio and video, preserved according to industry best practices, and transcribed accurately and entered into the Museum’s archives.
    • Creation of a comprehensive national reference database of conservation-related oral histories interviews across the country.
    • Organize an Annual Public History Event each year. These events will revolve around a specific group of narrators and a theme. In 2022, the Museum will be producing a podcast “What did we get ourselves into?” Featuring stories of early Forest service families. Interviews are currently underway for this project. The first podcast is scheduled to air in summer, 2022.

    Dr. James Wall serves as the Museum’s Oral Historian. You can help by providing information via the two forms below:

    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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