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.