Our Historian & Oral History Program
Historian Dennis Casebier has been gathering archival materials pertaining to the Mojave Desert since 1954 and has garnered honors for his life's work. His personal collection has become one of the most complete in existence. The additions of the library and personal papers of desert bibliographer E. I. Edwards, the library and collection of Harold and Lucile Weight, and the collection of San Bernardino County historian Germaine L. Moon, have resulted in an archive of Mojave Desert history unsurpassed anywhere; a 6,000 volume library of published literature pertaining to the arid regions, 108,000 historical photographs, 6,000 historic maps of the region dating from earliest times, 3,000 subject files pertaining to individuals of interest and specific cultural sites, 1,000 oral histories, and an extensive collection of old area newspapers, periodicals and pamphlets.
Photo of Dennis Casebier courtesy of Desert Dispatch / Lara Hartley Staff Photographer
The Oral History Program has recorded, transcribed and bound firsthand memories of nearly 500 people having knowledge of the Mojave Desert's earlier years. The East Mojave Desert has a rich and varied history. People have lived out here in many places for a time and then moved on. Everyone knows something we don't know. Sometimes these are things of great importance. Different people remember different things. Taken together, an accurate and more complete picture emerges. If you are a person with firsthand knowledge of affairs in the desert in earlier years, or if you know of such people, then we ask your help in bringing this to our attention and in making arrangements for an interview.
HELPFUL TECHNIQUES FOR CONDUCTING ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS
Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Workshop: HELPFUL TECHNIQUES FOR CONDUCTING ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS by Joe de Kehoe. Depot Reading Room. Joe has conducted numerous oral history interviews for the MDHCA over the years and this is a wonderful opportunity to hear about his experience and learn about proper interviewing techniques. A workshop like this has never been offered until now. Joe used many of these interviews while writing his book. Joe and his book The Silence and the Sun, will also be featured at MEET THE AUTHORS from 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM on Friday October 7, 2022 in our Fly Wheel Cafe during Rendezvous. You can meet the author and have your book signed. Books will be available for purchase.