CSU Fullerton’s Center for Public and Oral History (COPH)
On September 26, 2011, members of my Advisory Committee (Christina, Linda, and Michelle) accompanied me to visit COPH and meet with the staff there to learn more about their operations and projects. This visit was important for the initial stages of designing a project protocol to submit for Institutional Review Board approval at UC Irvine, implementing appropriate oral history procedures, purchasing the proper equipment, and establishing a strong working relationship with the COPH, a well-established center with exciting oral history projects in the works.
Stephanie George, the archivist at COPH, and Natalie Fousekis, director of COPH, met with our group and gave us a general description of their center protocol for conducting and processing oral histories. They generously shared materials with us in the weeks that followed our visit.
Our visit ended with a formal tour of the center, where we went behind the scenes to see how interviews are archived. We had the opportunity to peruse some of the bounded interview transcripts and publications that came out of their work.
One potential for future collaboration that came from our new friendship with COPH is the El Toro Project that is ongoing. COPH has been commissioned to collect interviews of those associated with the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, now the Great Park in Irvine, California. Among those with El Toro affiliations are Vietnamese refugees who landed there en route to resettlement in the United States. Given this project’s focus on Vietnamese Americans in Southern California, we will certainly encounter some who fit this criterion. How exciting to find an unexpected convergence of our projects’ mission with one of COPH’s ongoing projects!