What is StoryCorps?
StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 40,000 interviews from nearly 80,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a CD to share and, with participant permission, is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on StoryCorps’ Listen Page. Learn more about StoryCorps here.
What is the Military Voices Initiative?
The Military Voices Initiative records the stories of veterans, active duty troops, and military families. This Initiative is generously funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Boeing. We work in collaboration with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and the Veterans History Project.
Is the Military Voices Initiative different from the Veterans History Project?
Yes, they are separate programs. StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative will focus primarily on recording the stories of post-9/11 veterans, active-duty service members, and their families. The Veterans History Project is a Congressionally-mandated program within the Library of Congress that inspires and instructs individuals and organizations to record and submit first-person accounts of America’s veterans dating back to World War I.
Both oral history collections are housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps and the Veterans History Project will be working together to honor the stories of our service members.
You say you record stories. What does that mean?
The interview session is at the heart of StoryCorps. We record conversations between two people who are important to each other. Sometimes one participant acts as the interviewerâasking his/her partner questions. Sometimes both participants are the storytellersâreflecting on their shared memories and experiences.
Our trained staff, called facilitators, are present during every conversation. They help make the participants feel comfortable, explain the interview process, and handle all technical aspects of the recording.
What can we talk about during our conversation?
You can talk about whatever you like. Some topics you might consider include transitions from military life to civilian life, friendships you’ve made in the service, the strains of military life, how you felt when a loved one was deployed, or remembering those who have fallen. This is your time and space to share what is meaningful to you.
How can we prepare for our conversation?
Conversations should not feel scripted, but a little preparation can improve the quality of your interview. You can read more about what to expect and get some ideas from our Military Voices Initiative Great Questions List.
Can we record stories in languages other than English?
Yes. The Military Voices Initiative is committed to reaching a diverse group of participants who can record their story in any language they like.
What happens to the recordings after the interview session is over?
Participant pairs will receive a CD copy of their interview to share with friends and family. With permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
What if I do not want my interview archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress?
If participants choose not to sign the release forms at the end of their interview, they will receive a CD of their conversation to share and StoryCorps will not keep or archive the interview at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
Can we share our recordings with others?
Yes. We encourage participants to share their recording with friends and family.
I am not affiliated with an organization, but I’d like to share my story. Is this possible?
Yes. Individuals can participate in the Military Voices Initiative by signing up for an interview appointment at one of our recording facilities.
I work for a VA Hospital or clinic. How does StoryCorps honor the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other privacy regulations?
StoryCorps is not a clinical program and does not require or maintain health records of its participants. While the StoryCorps interview experience may be emotional, it should not be mistaken for a clinical intervention or therapy. We work very carefully to protect the privacy of our participants.