Oral History Recording to Preserve Family Histories and Memories for Posterity
StoryCorps Designates November 28th 2008
as First Annual
"The National Day of Listening"
We all have a story to tell and oral history recording is the quickest, easiest and most
enjoyable way of recording and preserving stories from our lives, that our posterity will
someday enjoy and benefit from.
The memories, experiences and emotions that lie in your memory now, are a treasure worth more
than any other gift that you can your children and the generations to follow
My mother-in-law passed away in 1991 before we ever thought to record any of the stories
from her life.
One day, years later, we came across the old answering machine that she used. In it
was the cassette tape that the machine used to record messages.
My wife and I listened to it and just to hear her voice again, caused an avalanche of
tears. It had recorded an entire conversation that she had had with a friend.
as we know, it is the only voice recording that we have of her. Her name was Nellie
Herrboldt. She died due to complications with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 50.
The Storycorps Project
This holiday season, StoryCorps is asking everyone across the nation to take an hour on Friday,
November 28, 2008, the day after Thanksgiving, to record and preserve a Do-It-Yourself interview with
a loved one at home or in your community center. It can be a grandparent, sibling, friend, or a familiar
face from the neighborhood.
I think this should be the start of a new tradition for all of our families.
Once you begin, I think it will be impossible to keep it only to an hour and to only record oral histories
on one day a year. The experience will be that enjoyable.
Oral History Recording Videos
Here are a couple of short videos produced by or about Storycorp. The first one is very
funny, the second one sad. Then the third is a CNN clip about Storycorp and their message.
Do It Yourself Oral History Recording
Storycorp cannot accept do it yourself recordings, due to the lack of resources for edited
and producing the avalanche of audio that would surely be generated.
However, Storycorp encourges that we make our own recordings and do all that can be done
to preserve these recordings for the ages. Their website offers oral history recording tips
and help to do this.
Storycorp does publish a schedule of mobile recording "studios" that you can schedule an
appointment with. Perhaps, one is coming to your area. Check their website to see.
Making Your Own Oral History Recordings
One of the tools that I have been using is called Life on Record.
With Life on Record you record your stories over the phone, anytime of day and have the
ability to record an unlimited number of interviews to CD.
This has been especially help to me, due to the fact that I live thousands of miles
from any relatives.
In today's world, we find ourselves living great distances from family members. I think
Life on Record is the perfect way of bridging that distance.
I've recently conducted recordings with my parents and only living grandparent. I know that
these recordings, if preserved properly, will become invaluable family treasure.
If you have family living far away, I'd encourage you to look into Life on Record. I did and
I'm very glad that I did.