Oral History Program

The Center for California Studies periodically contributes oral histories of California government officials to the California State Government Oral History Program (CSGOHP). The CSGOHP was statutorily established by the Legislature in 1985, with the objective or “provid[ing] through the use of oral history a continuing documentation of state policy development as reflected in California’s legislative and executive history.” The program is overseen by the California State Archives, in cooperation with oral history programs at several universities, including Sacramento State.

The Center works with the State Archivist to select individuals (usually retired California legislators or executive branch officials) to be interviewed. The Center then contracts with a historian at Sacramento State’s Public History program, who then conducts interviews with the subject. Completed oral histories are deposited in the state archives, as well as the Sacramento State library.

To date, over 200 oral histories have been completed for the CSGOHP. A list of these oral histories, as well as links to the histories themselves, are available here.