NCBA HISTORY-ARCHIVES PROJECT (HAP)
The NCBA HAP Committee, appointed in January, 2014, has continued to meet and has been joined by new members. The present committee includes Joe Bell, Hugh Bishop, Nanci Clinch, Frank Francis, Valerie Logsdon, Erin Noel, Jim Phillips, Ray Shine, Victoria Smart and Bill Walker. The HAP organized and participated in a May 21, 2016 training for committee members (to become “interviewers”) interested in conducting recorded interviews of persons who have been active in our community legal history (“narrators.”) The training was presented by Basya Petnick, who is an oral historian from San Francisco, studying and practicing oral history for more than twenty-five years. On her recommendation, the HAP Committee has acquired digital audio equipment.
The Committee has also added a “Vision Statement” of purpose to its Mission Statement which is “To assemble, organize and preserve our community legal history by recording (audio and/or video or written) interviews.” The tentative Vision Statement is: “Our purpose is to create a living collection of the stories that connect us with our rich legal history and to inspire all members of our legal community to set forth the ideals demonstrated by the accomplishments of those who have gone before.”
Some of the points learned and steps taken in the HAP training were the following:
· Oral history has a long standing tradition going back to the Romans and Greeks. Many European countries are ahead of the U.S. in creating oral histories. The technique allows history to be created by the people who experienced it as opposed to the writings of uninvolved “historians.”
· Preliminary steps are to: prioritize potential narrators based on their immediate circumstances, select narrators who are capable and
interested, as well as informed, and to have well prepared interviewers with access to high quality audio recording equipment. A biography form will be completed by each narrator in advance of the interview to allow the preparation of thoughtful questions.
· The recommended procedure is to obtain the interview, transcribe and edit the interview content and also to obtain a short video interview to accompany the audio and transcription. The Searls Library has already agreed to provide storage of and public access to the final product. Frank Francis has agreed to be our first narrator, to be interviewed by Hugh Bishop.
The HAP Committee welcomes new members and volunteers, including interviewers and narrators, for this interesting and important project.
Meetings are now being held at 4:00 p.m. on the 4th Tuesdays of each month, at the Old Post Office library at 131 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA. Contact Joseph Bell (272-7477).