Press Room & News

 

Fast Facts

  • The project is called StoryCorps (pronounced “story core”).
  • Since its founding in 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 65,000 interviews from more than 100,000 participants from across the country who visit one of our recording sites. It is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind.
  • Interviews recorded are added to the StoryCorps Archive, housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
  • The first StoryBooth recording site opened October 23, 2003 in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. In 2015, StoryCorps operates StoryBooths in Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco.
  • In 2015, StoryCorps launched the free StoryCorps App, which makes the experience of recording an interview with a loved one, accessible to people everywhere.
  • Our MobileBooth travels across the country, partnering with local public radio stations in various cities for one month at a time. StoryCorps Mobile Tour began May 19, 2005.
  • With the permission of the participants, edited stories from each booth are broadcast on a partner public radio station. Selected stories are produced by StoryCorps for national broadcast on NPR. Selected stories are also produced as animations, which are seen on public television stations across the country and millions more online.
  • StoryCorps has released five books: Listening Is an Act of Love (2007), Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps, All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps (2012), Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps (2013), and Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work (2016).
  • StoryCorps is an independently funded 501(c)(3) organizations. We ask for a voluntary donation at the end of each recording session to support our work and ensure access to everyone. We fundraise throughout the year to help cover costs of recording, archiving, and preserving each interview and to continue our mission.

About StoryCorps

Founded in 2003 by Dave Isay, the nonprofit organization StoryCorps has given a quarter of a million Americans the chance to record interviews about their lives, pass wisdom from one generation to the next, and leave a legacy for the future. It is the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered.  

Recording a StoryCorps interview couldn’t be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you chose, to one of the StoryCorps recording sites. There, you’re met by a trained facilitator who greets you and explains the interview process. You’re then brought into a quiet recording room and seated across from your interview partner, each of you in front of a microphone. The facilitator hits “record,” and you share a 40-minute conversation. At the end of the session, you walk away with a copy of the interview, and a digital file goes to the Library of Congress, where it will be preserved for generations to come. Someday your great-great-great-grandchildren will be able to meet your grandfather, your mother, your best friend, or whomever it is you chose to honor with a StoryCorps interview.  

With the 2015 TED Prize awarded to Dave Isay, StoryCorps has also launched an app that puts the StoryCorps experience entirely in the hands of users and enables anyone, anywhere to record meaningful conversations with another person. The app guides users through the interview experience, from recording to archiving to sharing their stories with the world. It provides easy-to-use tools to help people prepare interview questions; record high-quality conversations on their mobile devices; and upload the audio to the Library of Congress and StoryCorps.me platform, which serves as a home for these recordings and also provides interview and editing resources.

StoryCorps shares edited excerpts of the stories we record through popular weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. These powerful stories illustrate our shared humanity and show how much more we share in common than divides us. 

StoryCorps has launched a series of national recording initiatives including:

  • The September 11th Initiative, helping families memorialize the stories of lives lost on September 11, 2001, in partnership with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center;
  • The Griot Initiative, now the largest collection of African American voices ever gathered, in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture;
  • The Historias Initiative, the largest collection of Latino stories ever gathered;
  • OutLoud, which documents the powerful, varied experiences of LGBTQ people across America, with a focus on lives lived before Stonewall; and
  • The Military Voices Initiative, honoring the stories of post-9/11 service members, veterans and their families. 

StoryCorps also has a growing presence in classrooms, with programs that include StoryCorpsU (SCU), a year-long curriculum for high schools that uses StoryCorps content and teaches the StoryCorps interviewing technique to help students discover the power of their own voice. 

StoryCorps is working to grow into an enduring national institution that celebrates the dignity, power, and grace that can be heard in the stories we find all around us, and helps us recognize that every life and every story matter equally. In the coming years StoryCorps hopes to touch the lives of every American family.

Please visit the About page for more information about StoryCorps’ mission and core principles; how and where StoryCorps interviews are recorded, archived and shared; the origins and history of the project; major initiatives; and StoryCorps’ impact by the numbers.

Images, Video & Audio

Photos and Video (password-protected download)

An intro to StoryCorps from Founder Dave Isay

StoryCorps MobileBooth short doc

Dave Isay gives TED Talk as winner of 2015 TED Prize, March 2015. 

Dave Isay returns to the TED stage on one-year anniversary of StoryCorps mobile app, April 2016.

A selection of StoryCorps’ most beloved stories

story
Explore
"My basketball teammates were my first babysitters."
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story
Explore
"What's your life like now, Dad?"
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Danny & Annie
Q&A
Hoe_1
Traffic Stop
the-nature-of-war

Press Highlights

A selection of recent articles and broadcast pieces about StoryCorps and its founder and president, Dave Isay

StoryCorps Shares Thanksgiving Stories, NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, November 23, 2016.

StoryCorps Urges Conversations on Election This Thanksgiving, Matt Sedensky, The Associated Press, November 21, 2016.

For StoryCorps, Seeking More Diverse Participation Laid Foundation for Growth, Jill Goldsmith, Current, July 21, 2016.

Listening as an Act of Love, Dave Isay is interviewed by Krista Tippett on the nationally syndicated public radio show On Being, May 12, 2016.

Experiment with StoryCorps in Schools Yields More than 50,000 Interviews, Emma Brown, The Washington Post, December 17, 2015.

Dave Isay on StoryCorps and The Great Thanksgiving Listen, NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show, November 19, 2015.

It’s Time to Record Our Grandparents’ History, Geoffrey Fowler, The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2015.

Dave Isay’s StoryCorps is Archiving the World’s Narrative, Charlie Burton, WIRED UK, August 2015.

StoryCorps Launches The Great Thanksgiving Listen, Dave Isay appears on ABC’s Good Morning America to launch The Great Thanksgiving Listen, 2015.

David Isay Wins 2015 TED Prize for StoryCorps, an Oral History Project, Noam Cohen, The New York Times, November 17, 2014.

Intrepid Tales: Colbert Honors StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative, Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, October 17, 2014.

StoryCorps’ OutLoud, Dave Isay appears on PBS’ Charlie Rose to discuss StoryCorps’ major initiative OutLoud, which records and preserves the stories of LGBTQ people across America, July 1, 2014.

The Story of Gay America, via Personal Interviews, Elizabeth Jensen, The New York Times, June 1, 2014.

StoryCorps Uses Vocal Archives to Document American Lives, CBS This Morning, January 9, 2014.

When the Listening Trumps the Tale: StoryCorps Marks Its 10th Anniversary, Brian Stelter, The New York Times, October 23, 2013.

Press Releases

Headline Link
StoryCorps Launches Outloud, A New Initiative to Document Experiences of LGBTQ People (April 4, 2014) PDF
2015 TED Prize Awarded to StoryCorps Founder Dave Isay (November 17, 2014) PDF
StoryCorps Releases Interview That Yusor Abu-Salha, Victim of Tragic Shooting in Chapel Hill, Recorded Last Year (February 12, 2015) PDF
President Barack Obama Conducts StoryCorps Interview of White House Mentee Noah McQueen on One-Year Anniversary of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (February 24, 2015) PDF
In TED Talk, Dave Isay, StoryCorps Founder and Winner of the 2015 TED Prize, Asks People Worldwide to Record Meaningful Conversations with One Another and Help Create “ Global Archive of the Wisdom of Humanity” (March 25, 2015) PDF
StoryCorps Asks Americans to Record an Interview with Mom for Inclusion in Archive at the Library of Congress (April 29, 2015) PDF
StoryCorps Releases Traffic Stop, Animated Short in which Alex Landau Recounts Being Beaten by Denver Police (July 24, 2015) PDF
Mo Rocca to Host StoryCorps Gala, September 29 at Capitale (September 28, 2015) PDF
StoryCorps Releases the Animated Short The Saint of Dry Creek in Partnership with It Gets Better Project on National Coming Out Day (October 11) (October 9, 2015) PDF
High School Students Across the U.S. Will Use StoryCorps Mobile App to Record Largest Collection of Voices in History with “The Great Thanksgiving Listen” (November 19, 2015) PDF
StoryCorps’ “The Great Thanksgiving Listen,” Asking High School Students to Interview a Grandparent or Elder Over Thanksgiving Weekend, to be Featured on Google Homepage, Monday, November 23 (November 22, 2015) PDF
StoryCorps, The Groundbreaking Oral History Project, Gathers 50,000 Interviews with “The Great Thanksgiving Listen” (December 4, 2015) PDF
StoryCorps to Make Driven, an Animated Short About Wendell Scott, the First African American Inducted into the Nascar Hall of Fame, Available Online February 1 (January 27, 2016) PDF
StoryCorps, the National Oral History Project, to Release a New Animated Short, The Bookmobile, April 13, National Bookmobile Day (March 30, 2016) PDF
Tony Award-Winning Musical Fun Home Launches Partnership with StoryCorps, the National Oral History Project, to Celebrate the Musical’s One-Year Anniversary on Broadway (April 5, 2016) PDF
Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work, A StoryCorps Book by Dave Isay (May 31, 2016) PDF
StoryCorps and Upworthy, with Support from Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation and Delta Air Lines, Partner to Launch #WhoWeAre Campaign (August 10, 2016) PDF
StoryCorps Announces 2017 MobileBooth Tour of the U.S. (August 17, 2016) PDF
Tony-Award Winning Actor Michael Cerveris (Fun Home) to Host 2016 StoryCorps Gala Celebrating American Stories that Defy Intolerance, October 19 at Capitale (October 7, 2016) PDF
YouTube and StoryCorps team up to start a national conversation about identity and belonging in America (October 27, 2016) PDF
StoryCorps’ “The Great Thanksgiving Listen 2016” Urges High School Students Nationawide to Record Conversations with their Elders, Reflection on the Election and this Time of Extraordinary Division (November 14, 2016) PDF

Press Inquiries

Journalists interested in interviews, press materials or other information:

StoryCorps Press Desk
646.723.7020 x 75
press@storycorps.org

Blake Zidell & Associates
718.643.9052
blake@blakezidell.com

Matching gift opportunity extended! Thanks to our great friends, Blythe Haaga Parker and Tyler Parker, all donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000. Donate to StoryCorps today and double your gift!

Each week, the StoryCorps podcast shares these unscripted conversations, revealing the wisdom, courage, and poetry in the words of people you might not notice walking down the street.