What’s your story? We preserve your memories. We’ll remember for you.

Social history emphasizes the importance of collecting every day perspectives. We help you trace genealogical roots and preserve your heritage. Do you gather around the table to hear the past from your elders and wonder if you’ll forget these experiences? Oral histories ensure that this past is never forgotten.

We facilitate first person narratives in the form of oral history interviews to save the past. These long-format interviews are primary sources which are archived for the preservation purposes. We conduct these digital history projects in order to conserve the past according to Oral History Association & Southwest Oral History Association standards.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

As consultants, we advise for city preservation projects. We ensure that local histories are secured in perpetuity. We utilize heritage tourism studies to demonstrate a site’s capacity to increase economic viability for an area. We help submit National Register of Historic Places and California Register of Historical Resources site nominations. We use California Preservation Foundation guidelines. We can help you with your federal and state historic site nominations. We suggest that you apply for the Mills Act Program that provides tax incentives to the applicant that helps secure your site’s future.

We suggest archival material be cataloged in Omeka, ArchivesSpace, CONTENTdm, or another collection management software.We preserve and conserve your collections with care. Our approach is using archival grade materials to house your physical items and create digital records. We maintain original arrangement principles and best practices when organizing your materials in the conservation lab.

Here are some of our recent community projects:

70 Degrees uses a Zoom H2n and 4K/HD video recorders to create archive ready products. We use a three-point lighting system which can be used at your host institution or alternate site. Each oral history interview is accompanied with an abstract, recording log, transcript, photos provided by the narrator, a photo of the candidate at the time of the interview, and narrator-interview agreement forms. The release form expresses the narrator’s consent to be made available with online platforms.

Oral history tradition comes from folklore traditions. The spoken word can be captured in audio and video format to allow access in the modern age. We enjoy following the Brothers Grimm methodology that helped capture the Germanic linguistic traditions of the day. A JSTOR article explained, “As the only instruction he was given by the royal secretary was ‘Vous ferez mettre en grands caractares sur la porte: Bibliothbque particuliere du Roi'(‘You will write in big letters on the door: the Royal Private Library’) this gave him plenty of time to do other things, like linguistics and collecting folklore.” This anthology has been a source of hundreds of years of entertainment. The Grimm brothers are inspiration to contemporary folklorists to capture community stories and histories.

Del Mar Historical Society at the 2018 SOHA Conference chaired by Jennifer in Fullerton, CA.

Jennifer and Cindy are consultants to the Del Mar Historical Society (DMHS). They are working on a joint video series with the DMHS & Del Mar TV Foundation that will feature this work. This research was featured at the 2018 SOHA Conference in Fullerton, CA in our panel titled, “Community Voices and Collaboration.” We are working on securing a permanent future for the Alvarado House. We would like to create a museum that would remain available to the public year-round with interactive educational tools.

Jennifer and Cindy are Archivists for the Moulton Family Foundation. This Orange County pioneer family, led by Lewis Fenno Moulton and Nellie Gail Moulton, owned and operated Rancho Niguel. It became the Moulton Ranch which included nearly 22,000 acres. We conduct oral histories with the Moulton family and ranchers who opperated this enterprise in partnership with OC Public Libraries. These interviews are available at OC Stories with historical images. View Eddie Grijalva’s story in the small town of El Toro and experience on the Moulton Ranch.

The Keil sisters utilize their cross-disciplinary skills to capture and preserve narratives. Jennifer and Cindy implemented the Over the Bridge Legacy Program at the Balboa Island Museum that has captured more that fifty interviews. This was a community history project of the island and the individuals who shaped the culture. A project proposal outlining all the stages was provided to the board prior to filming the candidates. The video archive contains over forty interviews. Four highlight reels were created to engage visitors at the oral history station. They are the following: Over the Bridge, Holiday Memories, Jolly Roger Memories, Celebrity Encounters. Please read the BIMHS newsletter which contains more information about the project. Cindy and Jennifer presented, “Over the Bridge: Creating a Sustainable Oral History Program” at the Southwest Oral History Association conference in March 2015.

Jennifer Keil received her masters in Public and Oral History from CSUF’s Center for Oral and Public History (COPH) program. She was awarded the Lawrence B. de Graaf Outstanding Graduate Student Award and the Art Hansen Fellowship in Oral & Public History for her research. Jennifer’s culminating experience to receive a history masters degree was completing an oral history project. It is archived at the Center for Oral and Public History (COPH). The interviews are a part of an European migration to California project. Her article, “The Home Front” received the Editors-In-Chief award in the Welebaethan.

Jennifer has been a keynote speaker, radio show guest, university lecturer, and social media host. Contact her for an upcoming event.

Jennifer serves as the 1st Vice President for the Southwest Oral History Association (2017-2019, 2014-2016). As a SOHA board member, she is helped with the 2017 conference in Tempe, AZ from April 27th-29th. She chaired the 2018 SOHA conference in SoCal from April 27-29, 2018. She provides state reports in the quarterly newsletters. Please refer to the most recent publication for more details. She designed a news blog for SOHA’s ongoing events. As the state delegate, she designed a poster session in April 2016 at the Center for Oral and Public History. In April 2014, she presented WWII Home Front research at the SOHA Conference and received their research scholarship. You can read about this experience in the SOHA newsletter article, Field Notes: A CSUF Graduate Student’s First Time Attendee Experience. Jennifer was featured as an alumna in CSUF’s History Department spring 2019 newsletter.

The Oral History Association (OHA) held its annual meeting in October 2013 in Oklahoma City, OK. Jennifer presented with two other CSUF graduate students and world renowned oral historian, Alessandro Portelli. The event was featured in the Daily Titan. SOHA sponsored the 2016 Oral History Association conference in Long Beach. She served on the 2016 OHA local arrangements committee. Jennifer presented Capturing our Community’s Voice with Multidisciplinary Approaches with Kevin Cabrera, Tram Le, chaired by Dr. Thuy Vo Dang at the 50th Oral History Association Conference in Long Beach, CA in October 2016. This roundtable discussed how to use community events to start and maintain oral history projects. The Keils will be involved with the 2019 Oral History Association joint meeting SOHA in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Cindy Keil received her masters in English from CSUF and specialized in creative writing. Cindy discovered this passion while studying this field at UCI for her undergraduate work. She was involved with creative writing clubs and had her work published in these university journals. Cindy has presented her work at regional and national conferences. Her editing skills enhance the quality and consistency of the oral history transcripts. She is a trained videographer and media editor.

The Keils provided a mini-workshop for the Laguna Woods Video Club titled, “Digital Oral History Methodology” in May 2017. Here is the article from Videogram, their e-newsletter from the June 2017 edition. The Laguna Woods History Center (LWHC) has a community oral history project that the Keils instituted. Jennifer and Cindy are interviewing community leaders to collect and protect this history. Jennifer is the Oral Historian for the Laguna Woods History Center and Cindy is their Editor. Each candidate is selected by LWHC for their early history and major contributions to the community. They provide varied perspectives of life in Leisure World which was incorporated into Laguna Woods in 1999. The interviews are stored on the YouTube channel playlist and indexed with Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS).