Summer is a great time for family history. Family vacations can include time for genealogy, with research, family visits, and outings to cemeteries. This summer, why not take some time to include participation in StoryCorps?
StoryCorps celebrated its 10th anniversary last fall. Since 2004, more than 80,000 people have contributed more than 50,000 interviews to the archive. They are creating a valuable genealogical resource for the future.
StoryCorps has a simple formula. Each recording includes two people who know each other well: family members, friends, etc. The two sit in the StoryCorps booth and talk for forty minutes. The subject is pretty much up to them, and topics vary widely.
StoryCorps has a commitment to documenting the stories of a wide variety of groups. They have a number of special outreach projects to document communities, including:
- StoryCorps OutLoud (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered)
- Military Voices Initiative (veterans, service members, and their families)
- Historias Initiative (Latino/Latinas)
- Griot Initiative (African Americans)
- StoryCorps Legacy (those living with serious illness)
- Memory Loss Initiative (those living with various forms of memory loss)
StoryCorps operates permanent recording locations at Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco. It also operates a MobileBooth that travels across the country every year to record stories. This summer it will be visiting Marquette and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Groups can also sponsor a portable recording station to be brought to their location.
For those who cannot get to a recording station (permanent or mobile), there is StoryCorps DIY. You can record and share your story online and submit it to StoryCorps.
The best part of StoryCorps the group’s commitment to preserving these stories for the future. All of the StoryCorps recordings are archived at The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. All recordings are available there
Unfortunately, only a selection of recording is available online, at the StoryCorps website. A podcast delivers access to more recordings, and StoryCorps recordings also air on National Public Radio.
Read more about the StoryCorps mission and how you can contribute on the StoryCorps website. You can listen to more stories on the NPR website. And think about spending some time this summer recording your story for the future.