Skidmore Saratoga Memory Project
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Browse Exhibits (8 total)

Spaces and Places


In spring 2018, Principles of Documentary students spent time thinking about photography and exhibition as forms of evidence-based storytelling.  The course invites students to learn about the theories, traditions, and practices of documentary storytelling in sound, photography, film, and exhibition.

Over the course of the semester, visits to the Tang Teaching Museum provided an opportunity to engage with photography in the museum collections as well in the exhibition "This Place," a study of Israel and the West Bank through the eyes of four leading photographers.

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From exercises to looking deeply and carefully at photographs as documents and works of art, to discussions with photographer Wendy Ewald, curator Rachel Seligman and collections registrar Jessica Lubniewski , students developed appreciation of the different forms of storytelling available from an individual image or series by an artist. In addition, they developed appreciation of the curator 's role in bringing together artists' visions while layering in the perspective of a museum or community and the physical (or digital) constraints of a venue.

Inspired by the exhibition, students created photo essays about a place or person. 

Then, each person's photo essay became part of a class digital collection on the theme "Spaces, Places."  

Finally, students drew inspiration from the collection to curate individual exhibitions of five to seven photographs.  These are their stories.

Click here to see students engaged with the exhibits.

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Evolution of Beekman Street


History of Beekman Street, Evolution, Artists Identity/roles, the future

Stories of Beekman street community members who tell us of how Beekman exists today in a 21st century context as an ever-shifting piece of Saratoga Springs. This exhibit explores the artists and other members interaction and relationship with the Arts District since its inception to the 2008 recession to today in 2016. This includes the challenges that artists working on Beekman street are facing today, as well as other communities, including the untold narratives of some who may be excluded in Saratoga Springs. Specifically, one of the interviewees during this project gave insights to the intentional exclusion by the greater Saratoga community of the Black Elk’s Lodge as an openly proud, pro-Black organization. Funding for this lodge has continued to decline because of discrimination, and combined with the economic decline of the country at the end of the 2000’s, many of the lodge’s core functions have deteriorated.

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The Flurry Festival


The Flurry Festival is a three day music and dance Festival that takes place in Saratoga Springs in February. It was founded in 1988 by Paul Rosenberg. The festival holds workshops, performances, dances, and jam sessions in the city center and throughout the town. The Flurry first started as a dance festival for contradancing but has expanded to musicians and spans all genres of music and dance as well as encompasing family friendly events such as storytelling.

The MDocs Storytelling Intertviewing class wanted to record the memories of long time Flurry Festival participants and the directors behind the festval. We explored the intitial years of the festival in the Guilderland Central School District in New York and the move to the City Center at Saratoga Springs as well as how the festival has changed over the years. We recorded favorite memories as well as historical changes the festival went through. 

The title picture is from the 2016 Flurry Festival poster, created by the Flurry Dance Organization.


Harry T. Burleigh: A Commemoration


An exhibition in honor of the 150h anniversary of the birth of African-American baritone and composer Harry T. Burleigh, prepared by the Music Department at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., with attention to the singer's time in the Spa City.


Explanatory Text, "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child"
Rubenstein Library, Duke University

Harry T. Burleigh, 1917

Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries

The plantation songs known as “spirituals” are the spontaneous outbursts of intense religious fervor, and had their origin chiefly in camp meetings, revivals and other religious exercises.  …. It is a serious misconception of their meaning and value to treat them as “minstrel” songs, or to try to make them funny by a too literal attempt to imitate the manner of the Negro in singing them….
Their worth is weakened unless they are done impressively, for through all these songs there breathes a hope, a faith in the ultimate justice and brotherhood of man…. The message is ever manifest that eventually deliverance from all that hinders and oppresses the soul will come, and man—every man—will be free. 

-- Harry T. Burleigh, 1917

The Golden Age Club and Senior Center of Saratoga, 1955-2016


Sixty Years Young Poster In November 2015, the Adult and Senior Center of Saratoga celebrated its 60th anniversary.  How the Center started, who has been involved in it and what it takes to make it work are all revealed in images, articles, minutes and other documents saved over the years.

From 2014-2016, Skidmore College's MDOCS program turned these documents into an archive, finding stories collected as Sixty Years Young in a video and brochure presented at the Gala celebrating the anniversary and in an exhibition presented at the gala in 2015, at Skidmore and at the Center in 2017. 

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Oral Histories


Anne Palamountain interview with Eileen McAdam, October 2014 Many people who have worked or studied at Skidmore College or lived in Saratoga Springs or the surrounding area carry the memories that help us tell the stories of our communities. 

Our oral history collection offers a glimpse of the past via College retirees, alumni and Saratogians, in the voices of those who have shared their stories.

Recent oral history interviews tell the story of the Spa City's Flurry Festival and Beekman Street, now an arts district.

A separate exhibit, Encuentros, explores the experiences of Latnx students at Skidmore.

This site will also host podcasts and audio documentaries that draw on our Saratoga and Skidmore memories. for their storytelling.

To listen to some digitized recordings conducted by Skidmore students in the 1970s and 1980s, check out Scribner Library's digital collection.

Anne Palamountain interview with Eileen McAdam, October 2014.


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Encuentros: Latinxs in the United States

When People See Me.png

(Please scroll down for English.)

Bienvenidas/os al sitio del Proyecto de Encuentros de Skidmore College, organizado por los estudiantes en HI 251C (La Historia de Latinxs* en los EE.UU.), 2017.  

El Encuentro es una exploración de las experiencias y perspectivas de Latinxs en nuestras vidas: parientes, amigxs, vecinxs, y colegas. Después de pasar los últimos meses explorando las historias de conquista, migración, aculturación, resistencia, y la construcción de una identidad latina multi-étnica, hemos usado este proyecto como oportunidad de tomar medida de lo que hemos aprendido y compararlo a las realidades vividas por la gente en nuestras comunidades.

Nuestro proyecto incluye entrevistas formales y semiestructuradas con Latinxs en los EE.UU., trabajos a fondo que analizan el contenido de esas entrevistas, y este sitio web, que presenta las entrevistas al lado de una selección de entrevistas pasadas que iluminan varios temáticas particulares. Esperamos que esta colección de selecciones empieza a iluminar no sólo las experiencias de la gente que habla, pero también en las varias décadas de la historia - lo que Gramsci llamaría "procesos históricos" - que han dejado sus huellas en nuestras comunidades y su gente.

Queríamos agradecer al personal del John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS) por su ayuda en concebir y llevar a cabo este proyecto. Más que nada, agradecemos a las personas que dieron su consentimiento a ser entrevistadas y a compartir sus historias con los demás. Gracias.

Kate Paarlberg-Kvam, Facultad de Historia

* La palabra "Latinx" refiere a las personas de herencia latinoamericana en los EE.UU. El "x" sustituye la "o" o la "a," y elimina las categorías de género de la palabra. Haga clic aquí para aprender más.


Welcome to the home of the Skidmore Encuentro Project, hosted by the students in HI 251C (History of Latinxs* in the United States), Spring 2017.

The Encuentro, or encounter, is an exploration of the experiences and perspectives of Latinxs in our lives: family members, friends, fellow students, neighbors, and co-workers. After spending the past few months exploring histories of conquest, migration, acculturation, resistance, and the construction of a pan-ethnic Latinx identity, we have used this project as an opportunity to take what we have learned and measure it against the lived realities of people in our communities.

Our project includes formal, semistructured interviews with Latinxs in the United States, in-depth papers analyzing the content of those interviews, and this website, which presents the interviews in their entirety (along with selections from past interviews which are curated to illuminate four particular themes). We hope that this collection of interview clips begins to shed light not only on the experiences of the speakers, but on the many decades of history – what Gramsci would call “historical processes” – that have left their marks on our communities and their people.

We would like to thank the staff at the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS) for their help in conceiving of and carrying out this project. Most of all, we are grateful to the people who agreed to be interviewed and to share their stories publically. Thank you.

Kate Paarlberg-Kvam, 
Department of History

*The term “Latinx” is an adjective referring to people of Latin American descent in the United States. The “x” replaces an “a” or an “o,” removing categories of gender from the word. To learn more, click here.

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Saratoga Springs in 250 Years of Maps


by L. Dejnoszka, ca. 1950 On April 17, 1915 the Village and Town of Saratoga Springs were incorporated as the City of Saratoga Springs. To mark the city's centennial, this exhibit tells the rich story of Saratoga Springs through its maps and plans.

The exhibition explores cartography in Saratoga Springs by following some of the ideas they convey.  First, maps reveal the extent of Saratoga Springs, revealing the territory and administrative districts that formed the town, village and later city of Saratoga Springs since 1819.  Additional themes include:

  • The community's changing interests and fortunes come to life in a map-based history that chronicles 250 years in 16 maps.
  • Map stories also bring into focus what visitors and residents care about.  Civic life activities from schools and voting to parades and recreation make it onto the map. Transportation and tourism come alive as routes and attractions starting with the area’s emergence as a small settlement based around mineral springs in the late eighteenth century. The best laid plans come alive on urban development maps, even if they not every one gets implemented.
  • The exhibit zooms in on several map stories:

Today, Saratogians use historical maps to build our own maps drawing geographical data and other information (such as building location and changing public space) to understand how the Spa City has grown and changed over time.

For a brief overview of the exhibition, please see our brochure and tri-fold.  An online photo gallery offers a virtual visit showcasing the exhibit as it hangs in the Saratoga Springs History Museum.

Saratoga Springs & Saratoga, 1840


This exhibit opened at the

on April 14, 2015 and remained open until December 2015.   This exhibit is supported by the Alfred Z. Solomon Trust and JIMAPCO.









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