Today is the National Day of Listening.
Launched by Story Corps, a national nonprofit organization modeled after the Federal Writers' Project of theWorks Progress Administration of the 1930s, in 2008, the National Day of Listening is oral history at the grassroots level.
StoryCorps describes the day as, “a day to honor a loved one through listening. It's the least expensive but most meaningful gift you can give this holiday season. You can choose to record a story with anyone you know. This year, StoryCorps has chosen to feature the stories of veterans, active duty military, and their families.”
We encourage you to participate. (See our recent blog post A Veterans Day Goal – Preserve Your Veterans Story.)
Since its inception in 2003, StoryCorps reports that it “has collected and archived more than 40,000 interviews from nearly 80,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind…”
The goal of the project is “this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.”
If you are interested in some more in depth advice on oral history interviewing check out the Tips for Interviewing on the website of the Regional Oral History Project at Bancroft Library, at the University of California Berkeley.
(Thanks to Bill Smith at Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories for his post on the National day of Listening.)