Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Project Jukebox Survey

Help us redesign the Project Jukebox website by taking a very short survey!

Bill Brown, Interview 1, Part 1
Bill Brown

Bill Brown was interviewed on May 7, 1991 by William Schneider in front of Bill's house in Gustavus, Alaska. Bill was relaxed, but had a lot of things on his mind. He was watching his two boys, Zack who was 6 and Danny who was 10. Bill had just retired from the National Park Service and he and his family recently arrived in Gustavus and were trying to establish themselves there. Their home was half finished and Bill was concerned about making ends meet. In this first part of a two part interview, Bill talks about his career as a historian with the National Park Service both in Alaska and in the Southwest region. He talks about projects he worked on, people who were his mentors, his publications, and the importance of historic site preservation.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 91-22-03

Project: Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Date of Interview: May 7, 1991
Narrator(s): Bill Brown
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
There is no slideshow for this person.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) Personal background, and people and issues that have influenced his life

2) Continuation of family history

3) Education and the people who influenced him during that time

4) Early work experiences

5) National Park Service historians and people he worked with

6) How he left the National Park Service for a time and worked with environmental groups

7) His return to the National Park Service

8) Coming to Alaska in 1975, and how he regards his work

9) His mother's "causes"

10) His work and publications in the southwest

11) How he puts his "causes" into his writing

12) The message of preservation of historic and environmental values

13) Islands of Hope and the basic experiences he believes are at the heart of the preservation impulse

14) Frustration with societal failure to deal with population and pollution

15) Bob Utley, his publications, and his work as the National Park Service Chief Historian

16) Bob Utley's involvement in 14H-1 historic sites preservation

17) More about his work in the southwest

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: Brown, Bill - background\ Brown, Bill - family stories\ mining\ Brown, Ed\ Daniels, James\ Cottonwood, Idaho|

Section 2: Richardson, Elva\ Willamette Valley - 1840's\ Brown, Bill - parents\ Fontana, California\ California - pre-World War II|

Section 3: Brown, Bill - background\ Whittier College\ Brown, Rita\ Nerhood, Harry\ McCarthyism\ literature - importance of study of\ White, Lloyd|

Section 4: Brown, Bill - background\ Department of Navy Military Sea Transportation Service\ Interior Department\ Evison, Herbert|

Section 5: Appleman, Roy\ Porter, Charles\ Lee, Ronnie\ Utley, Bob\ Santa Fe Trail\ Brown, Bill - publications|

Section 6: Black Mesa Defense\ The New Mexico Center for the Environment\ Southwest power plant grid\ Brown, Bill - background\ Hartzog, George\ environmental groups|

Section 7: Islands of Hope\ Brown, Bill - publications\ Hartzog, George\ Cook, John|

Section 8: Alaska Task Force\ Brown, Bill - background\ Swem, Ted\ Henson, Al\ Belous, Bob\ Newman, Stell\ National Park Service - history in Alaska\ preservation|

Section 9: Brown - background\ Brown's - parents\ Brown, Marguerite E. (Daniels)|

Section 10: publications in Southwest\ Utley, Bob\ National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings\ Santa Fe Trail\ Franzwa, Gregory\ Oregon Trail Association\ Patrice Press\ Washita Battlefield, Oklahoma\ People of the Stone Villages\ Islands of Hope|

Section 11: Brown - background\ Kowski, Frank\ Nelson, Ray\ enviromental conscience\ environment - protection|

Section 12: National Park Service - planning\ National Park Service - educational goals\ environment - preservation|

Section 13: National Recreation and Parks Association\ Tindall, Barry\ preservation - environment\ preservation - historic values\ Islands of Hope\ preservation - physical challenge\ preservation - aesthetics\ preservation - social experience\ preservation - historic values\ preservation - environmental integrity\ land - intangible values\ National Park Service - goals\ population pressure\ National Park Service - educational goals|

Section 14: population pressure\ environment - preservation|

Section 15: Utley, Bob\ The Last Days of the Sioux Nation\ Utley, Bob - publications\ Sitting Bull\ Utley, Bob - government service\ National Park Service - goals\ cultural values\ man-in-nature\ National Park Service - historic preservation\ legislation - federal lands\ Historic Preservation Act of 1966\ National Register\ Hartzog, George\ Garvey, Bob|

Section 16: 14H-1\ Webb, Melody\ historic preservation\ land - intangible values\ land use\ National Park Service - attitudes\ land - sacred values\ National Park Service - concept of history|

Section 17: Las Trampas, New Mexico\ colonialism - Spanish\ National Park Service - concept of history\ historic preservation|