Founded in 1968 by local residents Ruth and Joe Wilson, the Mill Valley Oral History Program pre-dates the Mill Valley Historical Society, but became an integral part of MVHS upon its founding in 1978.
The collection includes interviews with Mill Valley residents and others who have contributed to the cultural or civic life of Mill Valley and reflects a diverse array of backgrounds and narratives documenting the changing culture and landscape of Mill Valley. The oral histories are available in audio form and/or readable transcripts.
In a partnership with the Lucretia Little History Room of the Mill Valley Public Library, library staff manage the process and collection while MVHS provides funds and volunteer interviewers. Access the collection here. You can browse the nearly 200 online oral histories by name, era or topic.
In the 2022 Review, available in early May, an article about the Oral History Program is called “What’s Hidden in Plain Sight.” In it, author and Review editor Abby Wasserman joins two of the major contributors: past MVHS Board member, Debra Schwartz and Mill Valley Library History Room archivist, Natalie Snoyman to describe the program. All three of these contributors are oral history interviewers.
Debra says, “It’s good for everyone to know each other, be inspired by each other, even help each other by telling their personal stories, but it’s more than that. The story of a community isn’t just on the surface. Below the surface there’s so much more.”
If you are interested in giving an interview and sharing your story as part of the Mill Valley Oral History Program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to reach out, too, if you have any suggestions for oral history candidates.
Visit the Mill Valley Library Oral Histories page to explore all of the oral histories in their collection.