Oral History Tapes & Transcriptions at Library

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During the Spring/Summer of 1974, the City of Santa Clara, Santa Clara University, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education cooperated on a project to produce 28 tape recorded interviews with "individuals who possessed some knowledge of the history of the City of Santa Clara". The Santa Clara University student who conducted all the interviews was Ronald Campbell. He worked under the direction of faculty advisor, Dr. Steven M. Gelber. A booklet available in the Santa Clara City Library collection, Guide to an Oral History Archive lists the 28 individuals interviewed, summarizing some of the topics they covered in the course of their respective interviews. Cassette copies of the original reel-to-reel tape recordings were deposited in the Santa Clara City Library years ago.

The Library has been fortunate to have a volunteer, Laureen Bernhardt, transcribe the tapes. First draft transcriptions have now been completed for all the tapes. Slowly the transcriptions are being footnoted, indexed and reproduced so they can be added to the Library's circulating collection. Other volunteers, Lorie Garcia and Dr. Russell Skowrenek of Santa Clara University have helped with some of the footnoting. These three transcriptions are currently available from the Library: Austen D. Warburton: An Oral History Interview * (which has lots of information about the Native Indians of Santa Clara Valley); Freelove Eberhard: An Oral History Interview* (with information about a once important business operation in Santa Clara, the Eberhard Tannery); and Andrew J. Roll: An Oral History Interview* (which includes graphic information about the damage that the cataclysmic April 18, 1906 earthquake caused in Santa Clara). An interview with Beryl Hoskin, who was a reference librarian at Santa Clara University from the 1940s-1970s will be the next transcription to be reproduced for the Library's collection.

For more information about the Library's oral history collection, contact Mary Hanel, Local History Librarian, (408) 615-2909.
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