Oral History Project


Even though Sierra Madre is part of Los Angeles County, it has retained its small-town
character over the years. The history of the town is best preserved in the stories and
memories of the citizens.

The Sierra Madre Oral History Project attempts to capture and preserve first-hand accounts
of the community’s local history events through interviews with local residents.  

Oral Historian Lousie Neiby (L) with interviewee 
(“narrator”) Nancy Webster Allmond

It is said that the best oral histories have historical significance. Therefore, the interviewer individualizes questions to help the narrator recall relevant historical events within the community.   

 The selection criteria of narrators are: 

     • Older citizens who have had involvement within the


     • Homeowners who have researched the history of their
       historical homes 

     • Individuals who are making history in the community now   

A pre-interview is conducted during which the narrator completes a biographical form as well as a copyright release form.  

    • The interview takes about 40 minutes
    • The interview is recorded and transferred to a CD
    • A copy of the CD is given to the narrator
    • A duplicate CD is filed in the library archives
      to be accessible to the public

After the interview, a summary is written and stored with the CD.  If you would like to help with the Oral History Project, the contact information for the committee chair can be found in the Board page of our website.