What is an Oral History?

One of the important components of the Idaho Legal History Society (ILHS or the Society) is the Oral History Project. From territorial days until current times, Idahoʹs justice system has been peopled with extraordinary and colorful figures who exhibit great talents, high intellect, and legendary exploits. Their stories need to be gathered and saved for the future.
Those most qualified to interview and record the stories are fellow lawyers, judges, and associated professional and amateur historians who are interested in hearing good stories and in learning more about the legal history of Idaho through the voices of its participants. The process of taking an oral history is both interesting and educational. It offers an opportunity for lawyers to learn from other lawyers and judges who have made a career and a life in the law.
The Society’s oral history committee has established and organized a “seamless” process for volunteer interviewers who need advice and support as they design, conduct, and record their interviews. This group has set up all the necessary forms establishing ownership of the interviews and allowing for their preservation and specific use by students and others through the Society and the Idaho State Historical Society’s oral history program. The committee has also identified over 60 Idaho lawyers and judges ‐‐ those ʺnarratorsʺ whose stories need to be captured for the education and enjoyment of future generations.

How do I volunteer to take an Oral History?

With the support of their national organization, the Idaho court reporters throughout the state have graciously agreed to record and transcribe oral history interviews to add to their knowledge. The court reporters have a coordinator for each judicial district in the state, and these persons’ names and access information are readily available on the Society website.

Contact Dianne Cromwell dcromwell1@me.com (208)345-3704 to volunteer to take an Oral History.

Can I earn NCRA CEUs for my volunteer work?

Yes.  PDC

List of court reporter volunteers and Oral Histories completed to date: