In July, 2002, Liz Bryson was attending an international astronomy librarians' meeting and attended a lecture by Peter Hingley, entitled, "The Past in the Present - Some Thoughts on the Preservation of Historical Material in Active Observatories". An urgency of saving the oral history of CFHT (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation) for posterity was emphasized by the tragic fire which destroyed most of the Mt. Stromlo Observatory in Australia in January 2003. It was then that Liz Bryson decided to record via video camera and tapes, an oral history of the observatory.
After consultation with Dr. Warren Nishimoto, head of the Oral History department at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and Walter Dudley, Professor of Marine Geology/Oceanography at the University of Hawaii, Hilo, a clear path was formalized and a mission statement was written. "The project is to interview significant people for their first-hand knowledge of historical developements and experiences at CFHT during the years 1977-1990." Waimea Gazette, December 2003.
Winter Anderson, a film major at Chapman College, was hired to help with the development of MPEG videos which can be seen online. Jeff Mori, an Electrical and Computer Engineering major at Carnegie Mellon University, redesigned this webpage as part of his internship at CFHT. Jeff also helped render the tapes in MPEG format for archival purposes and for future use in the final CFHT oral History DVD. The MPEG video and the interviews are now available on this website.