This oral history interview with David C. Duniway was conducted by Linda S. Dodds in Salem, Oregon, and at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from January 9 to June 11, 1981, as part of the Oregon Historical Society Research Library's oral history program. At the time of the interview, Dodds' name was Linda S. Brody. The interview was conducted in three sessions.
In the first interview session, conducted on January 9, 1981, Duniway speaks at length about his family background, including the education and career of his father, Clyde Augustus Duniway. He discusses his early life in Montana, Colorado, Minnesota, and England. He talks about traveling with his family, about his childhood reading habits, and about his decision to pursue a career as an archivist. He describes visiting several archives in North America.
In the second interview session, conducted on January 22, 1981, Duniway discusses his relationship with his father, talks about traveling to Europe with his family, and speaks about teachers at Stanford University, Carleton College, and the University of California at Berkeley who influenced him. He describes how he became an archivist at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. He talks about collections he processed, and discusses his work as a reference librarian there during World War II. He speaks about his transfer to the West Coast as a field representative for the National Archives at the Office of Price Administration. He also talks about his involvement with the American Association for State and Local History. He describes the creation of the Oregon State Archives, and how he became Oregon's first state archivist in 1946. He talks about collecting government records for the archives, about the archives' storage space, and about how advances in technology changed the field of records management over the 20th century. He then discusses his involvement with the historic preservation of several buildings in Salem, particularly the Asahel Bush house.
Partway through Tape 5, Side 1, through Tape 6, Side 2. In the third and final interview session, conducted on June 11, 1981, Duniway continues to discuss his involvement with the historic preservation of several buildings in Salem, particularly the Deepwood historic house museum. He speaks further about his work as state archivist, and speaks at length about his relationship with Oregon governors, including Charles Sprague, Mark Hatfield, and Earl Snell. He closes the interview by sharing anecdotes about his grandmother, Oregon suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway.