With the mission to, "Preserve the Legislative Memory," the Archives of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, under the direction of the Bipartisan Management Committee and the Office of the Chief Clerk, launched its Oral History Project in November of 2004. By November 2008, the Project has achieved a total of 90 interview of former Members, with the goal of interviewing as many former Members and key staff members as possible.
Each interview is tailored uniquely through extensive in-house research. During the actual interview, the discussion includes particulars of how the Members became interested in civil service, their careers prior to the House of Representatives, campaigning, their legislative accomplishments during their tenure in the Legislature and what it's generally like as a Member day-to-day. Interviews also touch on information regarding the Member's district, constituent services, camaraderie, mentorship, and how the House has changed during their time on "the hill."
Each interview is recorded in a caucus studio and then is transcribed by staff for the purpose of scholarly research by historians, students and other institutions with an interest in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Commonwealth's recent political history. In addition, the Oral Histories are a wonderful complement to the Archives' Personal Papers Collection and the Committee Records, and together, they often fill in the gaps of Pennsylvania's legislative history.
Most of our transcripts of the Oral Histories may be available to the public by contacting the House Archives. We will soon be able to provide full text searchable PDF transcripts on this Web site. The following is a list of participants in our Oral History Project.
To view a list of those who have interviewed, click here. To participate, please contact the Oral History Coordinator at 717-783-3866. For additional information, see the Oral History Brochure or view a 10 minute video about the project.