Oral History Project

Oral History Project Huntington Beach, California


California State University, Fullerton and its Center for Oral and Public History house a number of oral histories that have been conducted over the years. These oral histories are bound in Huntington Beach: An Oral History of the Early Development of a Southern California Beach Community (California State University, Fullerton), 1980, 215 pp., index, photos. They highlight the city’s early development, pioneer families and life in early Huntington Beach, local politics, the police department, the development of the city’s surf culture among other topics. Additionally, in partnership with Bowers Museum and the Japanese American Council, a number of oral histories were conducted with Huntington Beach’s Japanese American community as part of the Honorable Stephen K. Tamura Orange County Japanese American Oral History Project (1981-1984). The California State University, Long Beach VOAHA II (Virtual Oral/Aural History Archive) also contains a number of digital interviews documenting individuals and their experiences in Huntington Beach.

These interviews are a wonderful asset to the community, and CSUF continues to add to the collection in partnership with a number of organizations, including the Orange County Historical Society and its predecessor organizations. The Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board would like to help in this endeavor and collect oral histories from a cross section of the community since. This tool kit is intended to help do so.

What is an oral history?

An oral history is the recording of personal testimony delivered in oral (and sometimes visual) form. Oral histories are an important asset to the City of Huntington Beach. Everyone has a story to share, and oral histories help fill in the gaps, giving voice to those who may not always be heard through traditional artifact collections or historic preservation.

Oral histories, however, are not fact; they are memories. Memories provide insight into alternative perspectives, ideas, feelings, and doubts about people, places, and events. They are a product of the present and not the past. With memories, there are no right or wrong answers!

How Can I Get Involved?

We welcome HB residents of all ages (elementary school to seniors) to participate in this digital project!

CLICK HERE FOR: Community-Oral-History-Tool-Kit