Christopher Bazil: ROHO

March 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

The ROHO archives are very interesting. One thing I am finding out is that you really have to put in work if you want to find something at ROHO. Many of the documents that I viewed through ROHO’s website were formatted (digitally) in different ways, so that each document had its own quirks for browsing and navigation. Also, the two oral histories that I read through reminded me of autobiographies; lots of great information, but also a lot of digging in order to discover something of interest (a whole life story is a lot to skim through). That being said, ROHO is an amazing resource, and I am excited to have it in my 101 tool shed.

I looked at ROHO’s section on Land Use Planning and Architecture/Landscape Architects to try to find some relevant resources for my topic. I knew that most of the histories would be from that latter part of the twentieth century, and since my topic is from the 1910’s, I decided to look through parts of interviews that specifically addressed architectural history. In other words, there are a few sections in each document where the interviewer specifically asks the interviewees to reflect upon how they interpreted or perceived the time period before their careers had begun. This perspective is great because it gives us a chance to understand how people viewed the history of the build environment, architecture, or land use of say, the 1930’s, from the perspective of the 1970’s. Cool!

Here are a couple of links to the two oral histories that I think are really neat. The first is from Joseph Esherick, whom all you Bay Area architectural history buffs will surly recognize. And the other is from Richard Bender, who was the dean of the College of Environmental Design from 1976-88. Enjoy!

http://archive.org/stream/eshericksfbayare00joserich#page/n5/mode/2up

http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/roho/ucb/text/bender_richard.pdf

P.S. I really like that both of these oral histories include a full-page picture of the person being interviewed. It is a nice touch to an otherwise basic document.

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