History of StoryCorps
Founded in 2003, StoryCorps has collected and preserved conversations from over 630,000 participants across the country. Along the way, we’ve visited hundreds of cities and traveled tens of thousands of miles through our MobileBooth, published five bestselling books, received prestigious awards, and developed innovative initiatives. Most importantly, we’ve helped record stories that capture life in America, and will be forever archived at the Library of Congress. Today, StoryCorps is the leading organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the stories of the American experience.
Highlights from StoryCorps’ history
- 2003: StoryCorps began with the opening of a StoryBooth in Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
- 2005: StoryCorps launches two MobileBooths from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Our weekly broadcasts debut on NPR’s Morning Edition.
- 2007: StoryCorps receives a rare Institutional Peabody Award. The first StoryCorps book, Listening is an Act of Love, is released and becomes a New York Times bestseller.
- 2008: StoryCorps’ Griot Initiative becomes the largest collection of African American stories collected in history.
- 2010: StoryCorps’ second book, Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps, is released. Our first series of Animated Shorts premieres on public television and online.
- 2012: StoryCorps’ third book, All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps, is released. StoryCorps receives a Peabody Award for animations and audio commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. StoryCorps, NPR, and POV share the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for the series StoryCorps 9/11.
- 2013: StoryCorps wins a $1 million MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Our fourth book, Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps, is released.
- 2013: StoryCorps’ celebrates its 10th Anniversary with an inaugural gala hosted by Stephen Colbert.
- 2014: StoryCorps launches OutLoud, an initiative to collect the stories of LGBT people in America. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay is named the recipient of the 2015 TED Prize.
- 2015: StoryCorps uses the $1 million TED Prize to launch the StoryCorps App, an all-new tool for the stories and wisdom of everyday Amercians. The Great Thanksgiving Listen launches as StoryCorps works with teachers and high school students across the country to preserve the voices and stories of an entire generation of Americans over a single holiday weekend.
- 2016: StoryCorps’ fifth book, Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work, is released. StoryCorps wins a News & Documentary Emmy for our animation “Traffic Stop.” With Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation and Upworthy, StoryCorps launches #WhoWeAre, a series of animations that works to build bridges of understanding between people and help recognize our shared humanity.
- 2017: StoryCorps launches the Justice Project, an initiative that preserves and amplifies the stories of people who have been directly impacted by mass incarceration. The 500th episode of the StoryCorps podcast is released. The StoryCorps App receives its one millionth download.
- 2018: StoryCorps launches One Small Step, a new approach for fostering meaningful conversations across political divides. StoryCorps celebrates its 15th anniversary. StoryCorps partners with Google and YouTube to share stories of veterans and service members from our Military Voices Initiative.
- 2019: StoryCorps launches Stonewall OutLoud, an effort to preserve the stories of the LGBTQ community using the StoryCorps App.
- 2020: In the early days of COVID-19, StoryCorps Connect, a first-of-its-kind platform for remote StoryCorps interviews, is launched to bring people together and combat isolation during the pandemic. StoryCorps launches American Pathways, a new initiative to record, preserve, and share the stories and experiences of refugees, asylees, immigrants, and Muslims living in the United States.
- 2023: StoryCorps celebrates its 20th Anniversary with special commemorative content and an Anniversary Gala at the Brooklyn Museum on October 17.