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Two People Interview


Written stories are an excellent method to preserve family history but with modern technology there are still other methods. A non-profit organization found by David Isay known as ‘StoryCorps‘ had been doing interviews with ordinary people across the United States and preserving these vocal recordings with the American Folklife Center in the U. S. Library of Congress in Washington, D. C. over the last decade some 99,600 interviews across some 1,800 different U.S. cities have been conducted. Special story booths have been set up in cities as well as a story mobile unit to travel to remote areas.

These interviews have been on number of different topics, but mostly on an individual’s life story, to run about 40 minutes. It has expanded to be not just the United States but also a global platform for listening, connecting, and sharing stories of the human experience.  

StoryCorps is encouraging everyday people to make time to interview someone. storycorps-interviewIt can be a relative, a neighbor, a community leader, a merchant, just anyone willing to record and preserve their story. The best method is just interviewing one person – making it a one-on-one interview. To help make it easier, a special StoryCorps App has been developed to use with a person’s smart phone or other recording device.

No, there is not a maximum or minimum length for an interview. Conversations can go for 15, 30, or 40 minutes, or you can decide as you go. After recording an interview, you have an option to keep it local on your device or to upload it to the platform. Interviews shared to the platform during the first year after launch will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

If you prefer doing a basic digital recording, that audio file can still be uploaded to the American Folklife Center along with an interview title and a photo of the person being interviewed. Remember, any age person, because everyone has a story.

Review what interviews are already part of the American Folklife Center and if you find one of interest you can request copies.  storycorps booth

The StoryCorps concept is basic — complete the interview, one-on-one for the future, preserve now.

Related genealogy blogs:

Family Newspaper Story

Videotaping Family Stories

Interview Relatives


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