The oral history program in the FDA History Office, which began in the mid-1970s, captures the memories of selected agency employees typically toward the end of their careers in Food and Drug. Though the program’s early focus was on agency staff directly connected to enforcement work, the History Office today collects oral histories from staff at all levels and across the agency. Researchers can avail themselves of either audio tapes or interview transcripts, which are available through a long-standing agreement at the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine.
The documents in this section convey a flavor of the type of information that can be gleaned from these oral histories and its utility in learning about the agency, information that both distills and supplements the paper trail. Also, some representative oral history transcripts are presented in their entirety.