Eric on The Road

Journeys into the offbeat, off the beaten path, overlooked and forgotten - by Eric Model

Thursday, September 14, 2006

StoryCorps: People Themselves Telling their own Stories & The Story of a Nation

We are big fans of StoryCorps.

StoryCorps is an American non-profit organization that records the extraordinary stories of everyday people. StoryCorps is modeled—in spirit and in scope—after the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the 1930s, through which oral history interviews with Americans across the country were recorded. StoryCorps hopes to build and expand upon that work, creating a well-documented and archived American oral history.

Participants usually record their stories in one of four StoryBooths. One StoryBooth, opened on July 12, 2005 is located in Lower Manhattan near the site of the World Trade Center, while the original StoryBooth, opened on October 23, 2003, is housed in New York's Grand Central Station. Two MobileBooths, built into converted Airstream trailers, embarked on cross country trips on May 19, 2005. StoryCorps will also send a StoryKit—a portable recording apparatus along with a set of instructions—to anyone who is unable to visit either a StoryBooth or a MobileBooth.

A trained facilitator guides the recording session, but the participant is most often interviewed by a family member or loved one. The participants receive a CD of the session, while StoryCorps places another copy of the interview in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps does request a voluntary donation after each interview.

A select few of the interviews are broadcast on National Public Radio. These interviews can also be heard at StoryCorp's website.

For more go or


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