Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society Oral History Project

Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society Oral History Project

For nearly 15 years, Dr. Kenneth Durr has done oral history consulting for the SEC Historical Society, conducting interviews with regulators, exchange officials, and academics. Services included:

  • Research in historical and legal literature
  • Creation of interview agenda
  • Conduct of sessions
  • Editing of transcripts


Since its founding the SEC Historical Society has sought to capture the stories of veteran regulators and exchange officials. A few years into the effort it became clear that insiders do not make the best interviewers. The organization required oral history consulting by specialist conversant in all aspects of U.S. securities regulation: topics including corporate governance, enforcement, municipal securities, and exchange regulation. The society also required someone capable of maintaining good relations on its behalf with important government officials, exchange leaders, legal professionals, economists, and other academics.


As a result, Dr. Durr became the SEC Historical Society’s lead oral historian in 2005. The vast majority of his interviews have been conducted in-person, and often as part of a gallery curation effort. As part of his oral history consulting, Ken conducts comprehensive research, prepares interview agendas, provides for transcription of interviews, and edits transcripts. As of late 2019, Dr. Durr had conducted 91 of the 238 interviews accessioned by the society’s online archive.

As executive director of the SEC Historical Society Jane Cobb put it, “Ken is a consummate professional and has done an outstanding job over the years conducting a number of the Society’s oral history and gallery projects.”