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StoryCorps can help you Record your Precious Family Memories.

StoryCorps LogoFamily stories, that have been handed down for generations, are precious. So are your relative’s memories about his or her past. Genealogists often desperately want to record those stories, but don’t happen to have the skills to do it well.

That’s where StoryCorps comes in. They are an independent non-profit organization. Their mission is to help people, of all backgrounds and beliefs, to preserve the stories of their lives. They have been helping people to record their family stories for 10 years.

Interested in giving that a try? The first thing you need to do is contact StoryCorps and make an appointment with them. You can call the toll free number on their website to get started. Take a look at their list of available appointment days and times. They have a StoryBooth in Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco. They also have mobile tours in Santa Barbara, California, and Thousand Oaks, California.

You will need to have your credit card ready when you contact StoryCorps. They only have a limited number of available slots, so they use your credit card information to guarantee your reservation. You will be charged a $50.00 fee if you cancel your appointment with less than 48 hours notice. Show up for your scheduled appointment, and there is no charge.

There are three ways to record your story (or the story of a family member). The first is to make an appointment at a StoryBooth. It is a soundproof recording booth. Go in and record your story. When you are done, you will receive a CD copy of your recording. Your interview will also be archived at StoryCorps.

GriotBooth7 Another way to record your story is through their Door-to-Door option. StoryCorps will bring recording equipment to your location. They can record up to 6 interviews per day (with each interview being 40 minutes long). This would make it easier for people who have a physical disability or who are seriously ill to have their story recorded.

You could also choose the Door-to-Door option to celebrate an anniversary or other milestone. Several of your family members will be in the same place, at the same time. Why not take the opportunity to have some of their stories recorded?

The third way to have your story recorded is with their Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide. You can download it for free, and it is designed to be easy to use. This option allows you to record your own interview at your home, or even at the library. The DIY interviews may, or may not, be archived at StoryCorps.

One of the great things about StoryCorps is that it enables people who are not “tech-savvy” to have their precious family stories recorded for them. You don’t need any special skills in order to get that done. Another very interesting concept to think about is that your stories will be archived at StoryCorps. Future generations could, potentially, take a look at them.

Photo Credit:  Rob Lowell

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