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Starr Center for the

Study of the American Experience

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, and Home Town Stories. 
New Project begins to collect interviews with Korean War and Vietnam War veterans. 

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.

We continue to focus on chronicling the “hometown” experience in and around Chestertown and its surrounding counties - Kent, Queen Anne’s and Cecil, for veterans, family members and other civilians alike. Plus, a new project looks to collect interviews from Korean War and Vietnam veterans. 

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. 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 Oral History program staff includes Michael Buckley, Starr Center Program Manager and an accomplished radio interviewer and author; Starr Center Deputy Director Dr. Patrick Nugent and Lani Seikaly, an experienced oral historian, community activist and teacher, plus our newest oral historian, Erica Fugger, former archivist at Columbia University. 

Contact us!

If you would like to participate as a student interviewer or community interviewee, or know someone else who is a veteran or can recollect their experiences of wartime on the homefront in Chestertown and the surrounding area or overseas, for the WWII Homefront Project please contact Erica Fugger by email: efugger2@washcoll.edu. For the Korean War and Vietnam War Project contact Michael Buckley at (410) 810-7156, or email to mbuckley3@washcoll.edu.

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 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