The following guidelines are offered as suggestions only; they are guides to aid you in deciding what information to collect.

We invite any and all of you to participate in recording your local history and in gathering local historical memorabilia. This will help to ensure that your history is not lost. The World Service Office (WSO) invites you to submit your histories for safekeeping to allow historians and scholars, as well as OA visitors from around the world, to gain a broader perception and appreciation of OA history in different areas. Anonymity and confidentiality will be protected. Please note: the WSO is only able to accept electronically formatted files due to storage limitations.

We suggest that the content and interpretation of local histories be approved by the group conscience of members involved in your area.

You may want to begin by interviewing longtime members or writing the history of your own OA experience.

On a personal level:

  • Where did you first hear about OA?
  • Did you have a sponsor? If so, how did it help you as a newcomer?
  • Do you continue to have a sponsor?
  • What contributions did you make to the Fellowship’s growth? (Please don’t be modest.)
  • How has OA changed since you first encountered it?

On the birth of OA in your area:

  • When was OA started in your town or area? Where were the first meetings held (homes, churches, etc.)?
  • Who was responsible for starting the group? Which early members contributed to the growth and success of the group? How was it started: as an offshoot of a parent group, as a split from the first or main group, or by one person starting the group?
  • What was OA like in the early days in your area?
  • How were new members contacted? How was Twelfth Step work done?
  • Was the cooperation of local community agencies and professionals—ministers, doctors, etc.—looked into?
  • Who were the founders and group officers of the early groups?
  • How often were meetings held and what kinds of meeting formats were used?
  • If English is not the local language in your area, how did the founding members start the group? What literature did they use and how has this changed? How has translation of OA literature been carried out?
  • Did any special problems arise during the early years? Did the early groups suffer growing pains?
  • Was your group ever given a name? What was it? Is it still the same? If it has been changed, what is the present name of the group?
  • Do you know how the community received the first group when it started? How has it affected the community since?
  • Do you have an intergroup/service board or central office in your area or community? Do you know when it started? How? By whom? Were there any problems?
  • Was there any opposition to OA or were there intergroup/ service board feuds in your area? Please elaborate.
  • Does your area sponsor OA events such as conventions, marathons, retreats, or assemblies? When were they started? How often are they held? Are they well-attended?
  • Do you participate in events outside your area, such as those hosted by other service bodies? Do other members from your area attend also?
  • Have you experienced growth in your group, in your area? Who approaches OA today: mostly young people, women, men, minorities? Are all welcome? Are there any special problems?
  • Does your area have a website? How was this idea received when it was proposed? How was the website created, and how is it maintained?
  • Has your group ever completed a public awareness/information project? Have any members ever written articles for, or been interviewed by, local newspapers?
  • Do you celebrate individual and group anniversaries? How?

OA Board-Approved
©1991, 2008 Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. All Rights reserved. Rev. 5/2023.