Welcome to the Studs Terkel Center for Oral History
Founded in 2005, the Chicago History Museum’s Studs Terkel Center for Oral History collaborates with community partners to promote oral history as a tool of social justice. Through documenting everyday people’s voices, the center carries forward the legacy of well-known actor, DJ, oral historian, journalist, and writer Studs Terkel. The most recent oral history center projects have a youth engagement component, working with middle and high school students as oral historians. Over the past three years, the center has collaborated and developed projects related to the West Side communities of East Garfield Park and North Lawndale and the Chicago area’s Muslim and Polish communities.
Current Studs Terkel Center Projects
Chicago Muslim Project
Through an ongoing oral history interview process, Chicago Muslim Project staff, interns, and volunteers have collected over forty oral histories since 2016 with a goal of at least sixty. These interviews will serve as the interpretive backbone of the Chicago Muslim Project exhibition to open at the Museum in 2019.
North Lawndale Sesquicentennial
North Lawndale, one of Chicago’s West Side communities, celebrates the sesquicentennial of its annexation to the city in 2019. The oral history center works in collaboration with the North Lawndale Sesquicentennial Committee to document the area’s past and present through oral history.
Poles in Chicago
Poles in Chicago is a collaborative international youth engaged project working with the Polish History Museum (Warsaw, Poland), Polish Museum of America (Chicago), and Loyola University Chicago’s Polish Studies program.