Grant Adds New Voices to the California State Archives Oral History Project 

Women Black Panther members in CA

Professor and director of the Center for Public and Oral History, David Cline received a three-year, $150,000 grant from the California State Archives, within Secretary of State Shirley Weber’s office, for oral history interviews that capture personal insights and perspectives of state government officials.

The new project is a collaboration between SDSU’s Center for Public and Oral History and the California State Archives Oral History Project. The State Archives preserves records connected to California politics, government administration, and civil and military history and holds them for public access. A variety of public institutions and researchers support the historical investigation.

Cline and his student researchers will conduct 45 interviews with people who have had significant roles in California’s state government and deliver high-definition videos and transcripts to be housed collaboratively within the State Archives and SDSU Library Archives

Identified by a statewide advisory council, the project will feature people who have helped shape public policy or have been influential in political and public developments through the years. 

Interviews with LGBTQ legislators from San Diego will be included in the archives. Cline’s familiarity with the subject comes from his experience researching gay history in San Diego.

Additional interviews will be conducted with California members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Black Panther Party.

For seven years Cline was research scholar and lead interviewer for the Civil Rights History Project of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Library of Congress. In one Civil Rights History Project with the Library of Congress, Cline interviewed San Diegan Roberta Alexander, who was, at one time, part of the Black Panther Party.