The U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society is thrilled to learn that the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) was recently awarded a grant for an ambitious oral history digitization project. The grant request, “Digitizing the Oregon Story: Creating Access to Significant Legal and Political Oral Histories,” received $77,431. This Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) 2019 Grant is funded through the State Library of Oregon’s Library Support and Development Services. Because OHS serves as the repository for the legal and judicial oral histories conducted by USDCHS, our organization wrote a letter of ringing endorsement for the grant.
The project will make available interviews originally recorded in obsolescent formats, including open reel tapes, audiocassettes, and VHS tapes. The audio and video recordings document unique, firsthand accounts of Oregon politics, law, and government. One of the earliest USDCHS oral histories affected by the grant includes an oral history of Judge Helen Frye.
Numerous past (and future) articles in our newsletter would not be possible without the excellent foundational work conducted by staff members of the OHS Oral History program (active 1974-2006) and by volunteers taught by those staff members. It is through the work of numerous volunteers that the stories of those not as visible as judges and attorneys (such as former court reporter Jerry Harris as well as the former longtime director of Multnomah County Law Library Jacquelyn Jurkins) have been preserved.
Please take a moment to look at what is currently available on our oral history page. And our heartfelt congratulations to the Oregon Historical Society.