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County News

Posted on: November 11, 2022

CCPL Launches Oral History Project

Chesterfield Remembers

Chesterfield County Public Library

Nov. 11, 2022

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — Chesterfield County Public Library (CCPL) has launched Chesterfield Remembers, an oral history project to collect and share stories about the people, places and events of Chesterfield County. 

The oral histories will be added to CCPL’s digital collection, and accessible through the library catalog. Stories are recorded at CCPL’s Central Library and can be captured as audio stories or video. Anyone visiting the library’s website will be able to access the digital material and learn the stories of Chesterfield County. 

The project was inspired by County Administrator Dr. Joe Casey after a visit to a museum in Ohio that was collecting stories of veterans. 

“It’s incredibly important that we not only honor those who came before, but that in honoring them, we pass on their experiences, we understand them, and that we learn from them,” Casey shared. “Projects like this, where we have the opportunity to make it possible for people to share their stories so they can be preserved, are absolutely essential to a community like Chesterfield. We are so thankful that we can play a small role in ensuring their stories are passed along for generations to come.”

Residents with stories to share are encouraged to submit an interest form and schedule a time to record their story. Of particular interest are stories of veterans who now reside in Chesterfield or whose stories reflect life in the county during times of war. Stories from centenarians, or stories that reflect aspects of Chesterfield’s history are also encouraged.   

“CCPL is the ideal location for hosting this project,” said Dr. Michael Mabe, director of library services for CCPL. “Libraries are specifically designed as a place where stories are shared, and where the community can learn from other people’s experiences. Adding the additional component of having these stories be Chesterfield-centric is a wonderful way for all of us to learn about each other and ourselves.” 

In advance of the project, several stories have already been recorded and made available.  Some current stories include:

  • Juan Santacoloma discussing his need to leave his home in Colombia, and his experiences in the United States and Virginia as a refugee.
  • Don Kappel relating his experiences as a Marine during the Vietnam War
  • George Emerson sharing his involvement in the county’s evolving real estate market
  • Devin and George Allen, father and son discussing motorsport racing

For more information, or to submit an interest form, please visit https://library.chesterfield.gov/472/Chesterfield-Remembers-Oral-History-Proj

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