10 January 2013

Signed Up For StoryCorps

     I've posted before about StoryCorps, which is "an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives."  The organization has permanent locations in Atlanta and San Francisco, as well as a mobile recording booth that is currently in Santa Fe, NM.

     The Atlanta location recently moved from their location at the WABE (an NPR affiliate) radio station to McElreath Hall at the Atlanta History Center.  I've been to the History Center a number of times and done research at the Kenan Research Center at McElreath Hall, so I thought that this would be the push I needed to sign up.  I can tour the museum and grounds in the morning and record an interview in the afternoon.

Christmas 2012     I convinced my mom to let me interview her and have signed us up for an appointment on January 29th. Interview times are limited to certain hours on Tuesdays and Saturdays, though the Atlanta location currently only has Tuesday times open. Interviews are technically free, though a minimum donation of $25 is suggested.

     I've done some audio recordings with my mom before, using a digital recorder or my iPhone. The StoryCorps appointment is going to be a very different experience. We'll be in a professional recording booth with a facilitator, who will take notes and may or may not ask questions during the interview.  At the end of the interview, I'll receive a copy on CD, StoryCorps will keep a copy and they will send a copy to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Our photos will also be taken and copies kept with our story at the LOC.

     I want to ask my mom about social and cultural events and experiences from her youth. We have three weeks before the appointment, which she wants to use to prep. I'm going to work on a topic list and give it to her in the next few days, so that she'll feel more prepared during the appointment. I'm very excited to try out StoryCorps. Who knows, maybe I'll end up interviewing a few more relatives in the future?

1 comment:

Biff Barnes said...

Story Corps has always sounded wonderful and I love listening to their stories on NPR, but I have never met anyone who has actually done a recorded interview with them. I hope you'll post on what the experience is like after you and your mother have your recording session.
I have done some oral history interviewing and it has always found it to be great fun. I hope it goes that way for you and your mother.


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