How to Use This Collection

Cultivating a Movement

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Each of these oral histories is available in full text (PDF) format, and all of them (except for two) have associated audio clips in MP3 format. (To view the PDFs you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. This program can be downloaded for free at

The narrators are listed in three different ways: 1) In an alphabetical list by last name 2) by organization with which they are involved, such as California Certified Organic Farmers, Eco-Farm etc. 3) by role (farmers, organizers, educators, etc.) View one of these three lists, and then choose a narrator’s name and click. This will take you to a descriptive page for that interview. From there you may choose to view the transcript and/or listen to the audio clip. Longer transcripts are usually divided into several parts.

To Read a Transcript

Click on the link to the transcript. This takes you to the UCSC Library Digital Collections Site, which hosts the content for this project. On the left side of the page for that narrator you will see a navigational menu for his or her oral history. A window will also automatically open from which you can download the PDF of the oral history.

To Listen to an Audio Clip

To listen to an audio clip, either click on the link on the descriptive page for the interview (on the library’s website) and then click on “Access this Item” on the Digital Collections website, OR access the audio clip directly from the navigational menu on the Digital Collections site. In either case, you must click on Access this Item to begin hearing the audio clip.

To Do a Full Text Search Across Interviews

Keyword search:


For advanced users: If you would like to do an advanced search for terms across all of the 58 oral histories in this collection, go to the Organic Farming-Sustainable Agriculture Oral Histories collection in UCSC's Digital Collections and click on "Advanced Search" next to the search box. Then fill in the search box with the terms you are looking for. Click on the blue Search button. You will then see a list of oral histories within which your term occurred. The system searches the full text of the PDFs. It will highlight in red the particular transcript within which your search term was found. Open that transcript. You will still need to search for that term within the particular PDF using the Find feature in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

You may also search using a list of defined terms. Access the Document Description page within the Digital Collections record for a particular interview by choosing this option within the "Search this Object" in the green box on the left side of the page; click "Go."  You will see a detailed description of the oral history, including a list of Library of Congress, Local Subject, and Geographic Terms which are also searchable across interviews. Each of these terms is a link. If you click on the term, it will search across the collection and give you a list of oral histories within this collection in which this vocabulary term occurs.