Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit

Available Histories

Oral History Program

The Society's Oral History Program preserves the recollections of judges, lawyers, and others who have helped to shape the history of the Circuit. Recorded interviews, later transcribed, capture the voices, inflections, insights, and stories of the very people who know most intimately how the courts have functioned and developed over the years. Photographs of many of the subjects are also available.

Conducted by volunteer attorneys trained by the Program, oral history interviews provide anecdotal information about family relationships and backgrounds, personal observations about career histories and interactions with colleagues, reflections on the times, comments on law practice and significant court decisions, the administration of justice, life in the courts of the D.C. Circuit, and lessons learned from lifetimes in the law.

An invaluable resource for historians and students of legal process and the administration of justice, the completed oral histories are maintained in the Judges' Library at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse, the Manuscript Reading Room of the Library of Congress, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. In addition to the oral histories that are available on this site, oral histories of the following judges and attorneys are available for review in the repositories:

Dean Judith Areen
Robert S. Bennett
Benjamin Civiletti
Irwin Goldbloom
Hon. Alan Kay
A. J. Kramer
Hon. Louis F. Oberdorfer
Hon. Laurence H. Silberman
Hon. Patricia M. Wald

The following oral histories are under seal:

Hon. Harry T. Edwards
Hon. John M. Ferren
Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Hon. Gladys Kessler
Hon. Inez Smith Reid
Hon. Charles R. Richey
Hon. Stanley Sporkin