Voices of West Windsor
“Voices of West Windsor” is a joint Oral History endeavor between the Historical Society of West Windsor (HSWW) and SR Mosaic Inc. Its purpose is to document, archive, and spotlight the stories of West Windsor residents. Through interviews and both online and paper publication, the memories and experiences of the community can be captured and immortalized for future generations to look back on.
Oral History and West Windsor's Growth
West Windsor has grown tremendously in the past 40 years. Expanding from a homogeneous agrarian population of ~8500 in 1980 to a multicultural suburbia of nearly 30,000 today, it has seen a dramatic identity transformation. Additionally, its rapid population growth (253% in 4 decades) has given rise to a municipality that is trying to rediscover its sense of community.
Unfortunately, at the Historical Society of West Windsor, this contemporary version of West Windsor is not well reflected in our archives. The vast majority of West Windsor's surviving historical documentation fail to adequately chronicle the area's 1700s/1800s-era slaves, 1900s-era migrant workers, and current population that calls our town home.
Thus, as of July 2020, SR Mosaic and the HSWW are undertaking a joint oral history project - herein dubbed “Voices of West Windsor” - to capture slices of the contemporary township. Oral history - a practice wherein people are interviewed about their memories and experiences - is a useful tool to highlight different cultures, identities, etc. within the township in order to help residents empathize and familiarize themselves with their neighbors. To ensure that future generations can learn from the stories of contemporary West Windsor, these interviews will be recorded, transcribed, and conserved in the HSWW’s analogue and digital archives, and a book containing excerpts from each interview will be published in early 2021.
The Interview Process
Once a nominee has been accepted, members from the Historical Society of West Windsor and SR Mosaic, Inc. will contact them to set up an interview. Interviews are typically conducted two Mondays after first contact. The interviewee will select the time and place of the interview (most will be conducted via Zoom or another video chat service) and sign a consent form. Questions related to their life in West Windsor, personal history, and perspectives on the township will be asked. Interviews typically last between 1 and 2 hours.
Voices of West Windsor aims to rewrite the single-lens history of West Windsor that we have been given and replace it with one that represents the incredible community of different people we have instead. It aims to make the voices of our community heard. However, none of this would be possible without our incredibly hardworking team of individuals that believe in the mission of this project.
𝐌𝐞𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐕𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐖𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐨𝐫. 𝐖𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐨 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐚 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐫𝐞𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲.
Click on the link under each image to watch an interview!
"Voices of West Windsor" is a project aimed at filling in the gaps in our town's history. We interview residents of groups not typically represented in the Historical Society of WW's archives in order to gain and document new perspectives - much like how our perspectives of old WW were obtained through past interviews of longtime residents.
Additional info can be found at: westwindsorhistory.com/voices-of-west-windsor