Dayton Archives - StoryCorps

World’s Longest Diary

For twenty years, Robert Shields of Dayton, Ohio, has kept a written record of absolutely everything that has happened to him, day and night. For no less than four hours each day, Shields holes himself up in the small office in his home, turns on his stereo, and types. His diary, at 35 million words, is believed to be the world’s longest.

Recorded in Dayton, Washington. Premiered January 27, 1994, on Morning Edition.

A page from Shields’ diary.

This documentary comes from Sound Portraits Productions, a mission-driven independent production company that was created by Dave Isay in 1994. Sound Portraits was the predecessor to StoryCorps and was dedicated to telling stories that brought neglected American voices to a national audience.