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Manuscripts by Subject - Oral History - #11249

Title: Bakken Oral History Project                                           

Dates: 2014

Collection Number: MSS 11249

Quantity: 10.83 GB (24 digital files)

Abstract: Consists of twenty-seven oral interviews conducted by members of the University of Minnesota's Department of Geography, Environment and Society as part of a project titled "Life and Labor in the Bakken Oilfields.  The project set out to interview oil industry related workers as well as long term residents and people that had recently located to the Williston region.

Provenance: The collection was donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Dr. Bruce Braun of the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Braun led a team of researchers from the University’s Department of Geography, Environment and Society to the Williston area to interview people.  The State Historical Society of North Dakota was a partner in the project, helping to promote and also to properly archive the completed interviews.  The digitally recorded interviews arrived at the SHSND in December 2014 via thumb drive.  The interviewee gift agreements accompanied the digital files. 

Property rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.  Permission to use any radio or television broadcast portions of the collection must be sought from the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.


These interviews of people who reside in the Williston Basin are a result of a study being done by the Department of Geography, Environment and Society at the University of Minnesota. The title of their project is “Life and Labor in the Bakken Oilfields.” The thesis going into the project was not certain, but the team was looking to see what drove people to the Bakken and what were they looking to get out of it.  Was simply a case of economics and employment?  And how do the “locals” feel about the oil boom and how has it changed their lives? These were a few of the questions the research team was asking. 

The project was led by Professor Bruce Braun.  Most of the interviews were conducted by student Jessica Lehman. Students Spencer Cox and Morgan Adamson helped identify and arrange interviews. Dr. Braun conducted some of interviews and he and Ms. Lehman conducted a few interviews together. The interviews were done in June and July of 2014.

The State Historical Society of North Dakota was a partner in the project, providing signage and promotion, as well as archiving of the interviews.


File Number/Name/Residence

11249-01              Johnny Gonzales, Las Vegas/Williston
11249-02              Jenny Ho and Wai Leung Chang, Williston
11249-03              Angela Skogen, Williston
11249-04              Lisa Lindaman, Williston
11249-05              Ernst Reyes, Williston
11249-06              Shawna Fleming, Trenton
11249-07              Chuck Kaplan, Trenton
11249-08              Simon Brown, Trenton
11249-09              Aziz Diagne, Williston
11249-10              Steven Hightower, Trenton
11249-11              Marc Kounga, Watford City
11249-12              John Dale Carter, Elsie Mayes, and Mary Wardlow, New Town
11249-13              Vernon White Body, New Town
11249-14              Rachel Woltjer, Williston
11249-15              Joel Lundeen, Williston
11249-16              Tim Holmes, Williston
11249-17              Chuck Wilder, Williston
11249-18              Forrest Crocker, Tioga (Capital Lodge)
11249-19              Anna Denton, Williston
11249-20              Claire Eide, Williston
11249-21              Phillip Sandoval, Williston
11249-22              Serena Christianson, Williston
11249-23              Tom Rofstad, Williston
11249-24              Jaquelyn Keck, Williston

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