Oral Histories

The Northern District Historical Society has been collecting the oral histories of judges to gain insight on their significant contributions. The project’s purpose is to create an archive of primary data so that future generations will be able to study how—and by whom—governing decisions were made.

Accessing the Collection

The Northern District Historical Society retains the copyright on all transcripts, audio tapes and videos created under its oral history project, subject to the terms of each oral history agreement between the interviewee and the Northern District Historical Society. Where the particular oral histories is available online, the link for accessing the oral history is provided. Where no link has been provided, access to the transcripts, audio tapes or videos can be arranged by contacting the Northern District’s Librarian Susan Wong Caulder at (415) 436-8130, or [email protected], to make an appointment to read, listen or watch the oral history at the Northern District’s library.

Using the Collection

If you plan to use any portion of an oral history transcript, audio tape or video in a published work or commercial production, you must secure the Northern District Historical Society’s permission in writing to cite, quote or excerpt it. To do so, please submit the pages of the manuscript or portion of the work in which the interview is quoted or excerpted as well as at least the three preceding and following pages or other material necessary to provide sufficient context. The Northern District Historical Society will advise in writing if permission is granted. This procedure may take several business days or more. Citation must include the name of the work (for example, “Transcript of Oral History Interview of United States Circuit Judge ________”), the date of the interview, and the fact that the work was published or produced by the Norther District Historical Society (and/or collaborating institutions, when applicable, such as the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society). For commercial productions, please also write the Northern District Historical Society describing your project and the words or excerpts you wish to use. Any use beyond the standards of “fair use” may require a fee. To submit use requests or to obtain further information, please contact the Northern District Historical Society at [email protected].

The Oral Histories Collection

JudgeOral History TitleFormatYear
Alsup, William H.Oral history interview with Judge William H. AlsupInterviewed by Leah M. McGarrigle.Video2014
Birotte, Jr., Andrew Investiture of Judge Andrew Birotte, Jr.DVD2013
Brennan, Joan S.Oral history interview with Judge Joan S. BrennanInterviewed by Christopher Witteman.Transcript2015
Breyer, Charles R.Oral history interview with Judge Charles R. BreyerInterviewed by William I. Edlund, Esq.Video2012
Chesney, Maxine M.Oral history interview with Judge Maxine M. ChesneyInterviewed by Leah M. McGarrigle.Video2014
Conti, SamuelJudge Samuel Conti : an oral historyInterviews conducted by Pamela MacLean.Video2015
Fogel, JeremyOral history interview with Judge Jeremy FogelInterviewed by Leah M. McGarrigle.Video2014
Friedman, MonroeOral history interview with Judge Monroe FriedmanInterviewed by James R. Fuchs.https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/library/oral-histories/friedmanmoTranscript1970
Halbert, SherrillOral history of Judge Sherrill Halbert, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.Transcript
Harris, George BernardMemories of San Francisco legal practice and state and federal courts, 1920s-l960s / George B. HarrisAn interview conducted by Gabrielle Morris.Transcript1981
Henderson, Thelton E.The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson : making a difference, the federal judiciary and civil rights in the United States, 1933-2002Interviews conducted by Leah McGarrigle.https://ohc-search.lib.berkeley.edu/catalog/MASTER_1171Transcript2001; 2002
Ingram, William A. Judge William A. IngramAn interview conducted by Professor Gerald F. UelmanTranscript1993
Jensen, D. LowellJudge D. Lowell Jensen : A life dedicated to the administration of justice and legal reformInterviews conducted by Lisa Rubens and Marcia Jensen.https://ohc-search.lib.berkeley.edu/catalog/MASTER_1486Transcript2005-2006; 2007
Legge, Charles A. A career in business litigationInterviews conducted by Sarah L. Sharp and Leah M. McGarrigle.Transcript1981; 2013
Lynch, Eugene F.Oral history interview with Judge Eugene F. LynchInterviewed by William I. Edlund, Esq.Transcript2013
Orrick, William H., Jr.William H. Orrick, Jr. : A life in public service : California politics, the Kennedy administration, and the federal bench.Interviews conducted by Robert A. Van Nest.https://ohc-search.lib.berkeley.edu/catalog/MASTER_653Transcript1987; 1988
Orrick, William H., Jr.Oral history interview with William H. Orrick, Jr.Transcript1970
Peckham, Robert F.The Honorable Robert F. Peckham, 1920-1993 : his legal, political, and judicial life : interviews with Robert F. PeckhamWith an introduction by Christian G. Fritz. Interviews conducted by Carole Hicke and Leah McGarrigle.https://ohc-search.lib.berkeley.edu/catalog/MASTER_867Transcript1992; 1993; 1994; 1995
Poole, Cecil F. Civil rights, law, and the federal courts : the life of Cecil Poole, 1914-1997 / Cecil F. PooleWith an introduction by William K. Coblentz. Interviews conducted by Carole Hicke.https://oac.cdlib.org/view?docId=hb4779n9p8&brand=oac4&doc.view=entire_textTranscript1993
Renfrew, Charles B.Oral history interview with Judge Charles B. RenfrewInterviewed by Bradley B. Williams
Schwarzer, William WLitigator, federal district judge, director of the Federal Judicial Center, and professor, 1952-1997 : oral history transcript / William W SchwarzerWith an introduction by James R. Browning. Interviews conducted by Carole Hicke in 1997.
Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1998.
Smith, Fern M. Oral history of Fern M. SmithInterviews conducted by Sarah Flanagan.https://www.americanbar.org/groups/senior_lawyers/women_trailblazers_project_listing/the_honorable_fern_smith/Transcript2007-2008
Sweigert, William T. Administration and ethics in the Governor's office and the courts, California, 1939-1975 / William T. Sweigert, Sr.With an introduction by Robert F. Peckham. Interviews conducted by Amelia R. Fry, 1972, 1973, and 1975.https://ohc-search.lib.berkeley.edu/catalog/MASTER_597Transcript1972; 1973; 1975
Weigel, StanleyStanley Weigel : litigator and federal judgeInterviews conducted by William Fletcher.https://ohc-search.lib.berkeley.edu/catalog/MASTER_1043Transcript1989
Whyte, Ronald M.Oral history interview with Judge Ronald M. WhyteInterviewed by Leah M. McGarrigle.Transcript2013-2014
Wilken, ClaudiaOral history interview with Judge Claudia WilkenInterviewed by Bradley B. Williams.Video2013
Williams, Spencer M.Law, politics, and the judiciary : the Honorable Spencer M. Williams.Interviews conducted by Carole Hicke in 1992, 1998, 2000, and 2001. With an introduction by James M. Wagstaffe.https://ohc-search.lib.berkeley.edu/catalog/MASTER_1097Transcript1992; 1998; 2000; 2001
Wollenberg, Albert C.To do the job well : a life in legislative, judicial, and community serviceInterviews / conducted by Amelia R. Fry, James R. Leiby, and Sarah L. Sharp.https://ohc-search.lib.berkeley.edu/catalog/MASTER_413Transcript1970; 1971; 1972; 1973; 1980
Zirpoli, Alfonso J.Faith in justice : Alfonso J. Zirpoli and the United States District Court for the Northern District of CaliforniaInterviews, 1982-83 / conducted by Sarah L. Sharp.https://ohc-search.lib.berkeley.edu/catalog/MASTER_504Transcript1982; 1983