We’ve blogged about oral history before, and if this is an area you’re interested in there’s a site you might want to take a look at.
StoryCorps is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives.
Since 2003, the organization has archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each is preserved at the Library of Congress, and many are available to listen to for free on the StoryCorps website.
The recordings tend to be conversations between two people who are important to each other: sons and mothers, an immigrant and his first American friend, a couple reminiscing on their 50th wedding anniversary. Occasionally individuals discuss their memories of famous events, which can be anything from the Stonewall Riots to 9/11. Many of the stories are fascinating, even moving. It’s well worth having a listen to some of them.
If you’re particularly interested in this area, however, why not get a recording made yourself? It’s a fantastic way to preserve a recording of you and a family member, and StoryCorps provides a link on their website to get started with it. It could be a great way to create a lasting gift for the rest of the family to pass on.