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University News

University Unveils New Center for Oral and Public History


February 12, 2003 :: No. 154

Cal State Fullerton has recorded the region’s oral history for the past 35 years. The university will mark this milestone Friday, Feb. 14, with a grand opening of the Center for Oral and Public History, formerly known as the Center for Oral History. The event is from 2-5 p.m. in Room 360 of the Pollak Library.

Introductory remarks and a historical perspective will be presented at 3 p.m. by Arthur Hansen, center director and professor of history. Cal State Fullerton graduates Stephanie George and Sharon Owen will address the center’s future directions.

Attendees can tour the center, view the award-winning publication “Song of Anger- Tales of Tule Lake” and see the unveiling of the newest book in the Michi Nishiura and Walter Weglyn Multicultural Publication Series, Behind the Orange Curtain: Religious Pluralism in a Southern California County.

The center’s mission is two-fold: “With respect to oral history, it is to develop, archive and make available to the public significant oral documentation pertaining to the personal, regional, ethnic, political and international histories that link Southern California to a globalized world,” said Hansen.

The center is expanding its activities on campus “in correlation with the perceived needs within the Orange County region,” noted Hansen. These include historical editing, archives and record management, family/community studies, documentary film production, policy analysis and high-technology media.

The center is rooted in the CSUF Oral History Program, which was founded in 1968 as California’s fourth university-based oral history program. “It began under the joint aegis of the History Department and the library’s Department of Special Collections, but since 1973 has been operated exclusively by the History Department, with support from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences,” said Hansen.

The center houses more than 3,000 tape-recorded interviews, many of which have been transcribed edited, indexed and bound as individual library volumes or complied into published anthologies. All of the material is available to the public and has been widely utilized in theses, books, films and other formats. The center’s resources are detailed in a printed catalog that will be available online in the future.

Noted publications produced by the Oral History Program include “Harvest of Hate,” about the Japanese internment camps, and “The Young Nixon,” a sampling of 200 oral history interviews about Richard Nixon’s pre-political years that was widely reviewed in both commercial and academic presses and made the university a repository for Nixon materials.

Additional information about the center’s history and current projects is available at: http://coph.fullerton.edu.

Media Contacts: Arthur Hansen, at 657-278-3170 or ahansen@fullerton.edu
Kathleen Frazee, at 657-278-2491 or kfrazee@fullerton.edu
Susan Katsaros, Public Affairs, at 657-278-4854 or skatsaros@fullerton.edu


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A Bigger Voice For Oral History
Cal State Fullerton dedicates a new center for its growing program.
The Orange County Register, Feb. 15, 2003
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