Oral History Research


Entrepreneurs of the West: An Oral History Program
Entrepreneurs of the West is a UCLA-based oral history project that was initiated by UCLA Anderson. The purpose of the project is to create a series of interviews with entrepreneurs who have played a significant leadership role in the growth and development of California and the West and to supplement the existing historical record of their accomplishments. Their personal remembrances and recollections will be gathered and preserved through the method of oral history. The program is sponsored by the Price Center, UCLA Anderson, the UCLA Oral History Program, and the Price Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

Oral history is a recognized information-gathering method used by historians to obtain and preserve, through recorded interviews, videotapes and other means, the recollections of key historical events from the individuals themselves. Entrepreneurs of the West takes advantage of the resources of the UCLA Oral History Program, one of the nation's oldest and most distinguished university programs in that field. The process is very simple. A participating entrepreneur agrees to meet with a carefully supervised and trained MBA student for a recorded interview to discuss preselected issues and questions. Prior to the interview, the interviewer will have completed a thorough background study of the entrepreneur and his or her accomplishments. Interview topics and dates and times for the tape recorded sessions will be thoroughly discussed in advance. As many as 10 two-hour sessions may be required to produce the history. The project aims to create a positive and unique learning experience for the student interviewer, an enhanced historical perspective of business and individual entrepreneurial success, and a permanent record of the initiative and risks involved in helping to build the economy of California and the West.

The interviews are transcribed and edited by a member of the UCLA Oral History Program. The manuscript is sent to the entrepreneur for review and final approval. Once approved, the transcript serves as the interview material from which the Oral History Program prepares the final copy. In addition to the interview history, the final copy may include a table of contents, photograph, and index. Participating entrepreneurs receive a copy of the final transcript and the videotape. Copies of the final, bound transcript, available for use by qualified researchers, are deposited in the Department of Special Collections at the University Research Library and in the Eugene and Maxine Rosenfeld Management Library in UCLA Anderson, the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and at the Price Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. A reference copy remains in the office of the Oral History Program. All rights to the interview are assigned to the Regents of the University of California by means of a standard contract. If, after reviewing the script, an entrepreneur wishes to restrict access to all or part of the interview transcript and tapes, the contract will indicate those stipulations and the interview will be sealed for a mutually agreed upon reasonable period.

Oral Histories Completed
John E. Anderson
Jules Berman
John C. Best
Simon Ramo
James A. Collins
Joseph J. Jacobs
Marc B. Nathanson
John E. Parker
Eugene S. Rosenfeld

Oral Histories Pending
Betsy Wood Knapp
Cleon "Bud" Knapp
Peter W. Mullin
Alfred E. Osborne, Jr.