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C.V. Starr Center for the


Study of the American Experience

StoryQuest Oral History Program

StoryQuest brings together a team of Washington College students who learn to collect first-person oral histories and share them via performances, presentations, exhibitions, and a digital audio archive. Our interviewees have ranged from World War II veterans to Chesapeake watermen to participants in the Civil Rights movement. The art of oral history offers skills that students in many different fields — not just history — can bring to their academic and professional lives. It develops communication and interviewing abilities as well as technical and multimedia expertise. Best of all, StoryQuest offers opportunities to meet some fascinating people, hear their stories, and preserve these for future generations.

StoryQuest World War II Project Continues with Focus Areas on Veterans, Home Town Stories and Pearl Harbor
The Starr Center’s StoryQuest 2016 Summer Workshop Program is looking for veterans and community members who remember the Chestertown area in the 1940s, plus more veteran stories, and remembrances of Pearl Harbor. 

Visit new StoryQuest World War II website here!

Listen to StoryQuest interviews here.

Read an article about StoryQuest in The Elm.

World War II veteran Sy Ellenhorn with StoryQuest students. World War II veteran Sy Ellenhorn with StoryQuest students. The Starr Center is looking for people who lived in Chestertown during World War II (or who simply live here now and were involved in World War II at home or abroad), plus more veteran stories, and memories of Pearl Harbor to add to the Dr. Davy H. McCall World War II History Project. Washington College students are recording your World War II stories and collecting photographs of artifacts for a special collection to reside in Miller Library.

This year’s program continues to focus on chronicling the “home town” experience in and around Chestertown and its surrounding counties - Kent, Queen Anne’s and Cecil, for veterans, family members and other civilians alike.

As the numbers of those who remember the World War II era dwindle, it’s increasingly urgent to collect and preserve their stories. StoryQuest began its World War II effort in the fall of 2013 with students interviewing World War II era community members, veterans and civilians alike. Many of the Chestertown World War II stories collected were presented in an exhibition created by StoryQuest students in cooperation with Chestertown RiverArts.

The StoryQuest Project is also collecting remembrances of Pearl Harbor in honor of the 75th anniversary of the 1941 attack on seven military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Do you remember Pearl Harbor?

The 2016 StoryQuest Summer Oral History Workshop recruited 13 students to take part in a six-week paid summer experience collecting interviews and artifacts. Look for new dates for the StoryQuest 2017 Summer Oral History Workshop to be announced soon.

The StoryQuest Oral History Workshop is led by Michael Buckley, Starr Center Program Manager and an accomplished radio interviewer and author; Starr Center Deputy Director Dr. Patrick Nugent and Lani Seikaly of RiverArts Studio Gallery, an experienced oral historian, community activist and teacher.

If you would like to participate as an student interviewer or community interviewee or know someone else who is a veterans or can recollect their experiences of wartime on the home front in Chestertown and the surrounding area or overseas, please contact Michael at (410) 810-8156 or email: mbuckley3@washcoll.edu.

StoryQuest begins two new Oral History Projects

With the participation of current Starr Center Patrick Henry Fellow David Carter, the StoryQuest Program begins a new LGBTQ History Project; and, work has begun on a new spring semester project in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution as StoryQuestors sets out to collect memories and artifacts centered on the theme of “working” throughout the years in Chestertown and the surrounding area.

Stories of the Chester River: A Waterfront Revisited and Reimagined

CHESTERTOWN, MD—As Chestertown reimagines the future of its 300-year-old waterfront, Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Department of Anthropology hosted a public conversation about the community’s past and future possibilities. The event, “Stories of the Chester River: A Waterfront Revisited and Reimagined,” took place on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, on the college campus. The gathering included an update from the Mayor and what community members can hope for in a revitalized waterfront.

Listen to the the Stories of the Chester River interviews here.

Full press release here