Whatcom County, Washington
Group History Project
Your Group’s History─What, When, Why, How, and to Where
Taking our Group Histories is as the Northern Illinois Area 20 Archives say in the current Archives Workbook from GSO “…not only an opportunity to search a Group’s roots but the chance to record what the Group does TODAY.
Any Group’s history can uncover facts and recollections that will strengthen its foundation, when viewed in the context of experience and local A. A. history. The facts can be relevant, humorous, eye-opening, and significant to a number of places: 1) to your Group itself 2) to your District Archives 3)to your Area Archives, and 4) to our Archives at GSO. Assembling a group history is easier than what a regular AA home group might think it would take to complete. Most of all take your time and enjoy putting it together.”
In the District 11 Archives, we have copies of previously recorded histories for the groups, if they were submitted to us, and I have copied what we have and what has been previously published in the first and second editions of Our Stories Disclose. Some groups are not included in the published histories if they did not submit a copy of their history when work on the 1st or 2nd editions was in progress.
I believe it is important to update these histories as we go along, because we are always making history. Groups add or change their meeting formats; change locations, new groups form, and new services are offered.
I sincerely hope that the groups take some time to gather their history, have a panel discussion night, and make this an opportunity for your new and older members to participate and share the history of their group as they know it. Take notes and have a volunteer write up your current history. This can be added to the notebooks your Group may have on hand to educate new members, chairs, or trusted servants about the history of your group. Submit a finished copy to District Archives.
The District 11 Archives looks forward to adding your Group’s history to the files and in the future, we know it will be of value to those researching the history of A.A. in our area. These records are for A.A. use only and are considered confidential.
Yours in service,
Group History Project Questionnaire
District 11 Group History Project Questionnaire
Prepared by: _______________________________________________
Date submitted: ____________________________________________
Group name: _______________________________________________
A.A.W.S. Group Identification Number (if known): ________________________
1. The estimated date the Group started meeting:
2. The place, day, and time of first (or earliest) meetings, and the number of members:
3. Did the group separate from another Group, and why?
4. The type of meetings: speaker-led; closed discussion; open discussion; Big Book Study or other Literature Study; Step meeting; Traditions Meeting; etc. Has the format changed over the years? Please describe:
5. Does the group hold any public Open Meetings?
6. The Place, Day, and Times your group meets today and the number of members?
7. How many times has the Group moved? To what different sites, and under what circumstances? Please be specific as to locations, building name or church, the street address, town, and years the group occupied each address. If you can provide photographs of those locations, they would be appreciated.
7. a. Has the group changed names, if so why?
8.Early members, “founders,” trusted servants and their recollections, or your Group’s recollections of them:
9. Have any Group members rotated forward to District service? To Area Service? Did/does your group assist with any general service committee work?
10. What kinds of growing pains, problems, or any “feuds” happened, and what were the solutions? Did any particular member lead the Group out of difficulties toward any resolutions?
11. How did/does your Group cooperate with outside agencies:Treatment Centers, Courts, Probation and Parole Boards, for example, and has this changed over the years?
12. Did/do you ever assign sponsors? Temporary contacts (from a volunteer list or Bridge the Gap list)? How did/do you welcome first-timers?
13. Could any Group members maintain contact with each other in between meetings? Did/ do you have a members’ phone numbers list available? Is/ was there any linkage to your District’s Answering Service?
14.How did/does your Group celebrate anniversaries, for both individuals and also the Group? Any annual dinners, picnics, or special events over the years?
15. Did /do you count off to break for discussion tables? How did / do you change the jobs for set-up (making coffee, setting out literature) and clean-up? How did/ do you change who chairs the meetings? Did/ do you have “greeters” at the doors? Treats or snacks at meetings? Do you take a smoke break?
16. Your Group’s Seventh Tradition practices: have the ‘passed basket’ contributions changed over the years? Do you give away any books? Any fundraiser's or special collections (events like holiday parties, picnics, weekend Conferences, AA Forums)? Describe the amount of contributions…What amount of rent did/ do you pay? Did / does your Group support the expenses of your GSR and other trusted servants?
17. On our Seventh Tradition of sharing funds, how did/do you contribute to District or Area 72, and GSO (AAWS)? 60-30-10%?
18. Did /do you contribute literature to any libraries, hospitals, jails, or treatment centers? What percentage of literature purchases is in your Group’s spending? What items and pamphlets are in your Group’s packets for newcomers?
19. Your business meetings how were/are your trusted servants elected or selected? Your GSR, Treasurer, Secretary, Greeters, and so on, and how often? Outside of the regular finance discussion and votes, are current District, Area, and General Service Conference agenda items discussed for a Group consensus at your business meetings?
20. Generally, what has been your Group’s linkage to A.A. as a whole, (with District, Area, and AAWS)?
21. Does your Group do a Group Inventory, what can you tell us about the process?
22. What makes your Group unique?
23. How does your Group keep long-timers involved?
Please include any other thoughts or memories not covered in the above questions.
District 11 Archives thanks you for your effort in providing answers to these questions. This history record is considered confidential and “For A.A. use only.”
Individual Oral History Project Questionnaire
Individual Oral Histories - Sample Interview Questions
My name is___________________________________and I am interviewing__________________________________
Unity – Group issues and community perception of A.A.