COVID-19 American History Project - StoryCorps
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We’re Building an Audio Archive of American Experiences with COVID-19

Every person in the United States has been impacted, and many are still affected, by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress is partnering with StoryCorps to tell a more diverse and holistic story of the pandemic as told by the people who lived through it. You’re invited to take part! The Center invites everyone to share their experiences, especially frontline workers, medical professionals, and emergency service workers.

This initiative is part of the COVID-19 American History Project, a Congressionally funded program to collect, preserve, and make available an archive of American COVID-19 stories. To learn more about the Project, click here.

RECORD WITH STORYCORPS

StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that helps us believe in each other by illuminating the humanity and possibility in us all – one story at a time… Since 2003, StoryCorps has given over half a million Americans the chance to record interviews about their lives. StoryCorps preserves the recordings at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. 

If you would like to share your COVID-19 story, we invite you to choose someone you care about and record together.

Ask and answer questions like: 

  • When did you first realize the pandemic would radically change the world and/your way of life?
  • Describe the ways in which your life now is different than before the pandemic.
  • What do you wish more people knew about your experience during Covid?

There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to have a StoryCorps conversation. But, if you need an example to get started, listen to the COVID conversation in the video on the right-hand column. You can use the free StoryCorps Connect online platform to record in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a strong internet connection, access to a laptop or desktop computer with a microphone, and an open heart.

How recording works

You’ll use the StoryCorps Virtual Recording Booth (powered by StoryCorps Connect) to record your conversation. 

Step 1

Decide if you and your partner want to record in the same room or record from different locations.

Step 2

When you’re ready to record, create a free StoryCorps online account, then you’ll enter the StoryCorps Virtual Recording Booth. 

Step 3

Hit “Start Recording Audio“, follow the prompts to introduce yourself, and dig into your conversation!

Step 4

When you’ve finished, you’ll be prompted to save your recording as part of the COVID-19 American History Project Collection in the Archive.

Recording faq

 

Everyone! The goal is to create an archive that represents our nation’s experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic. Your stories, and the stories of your loved ones, are an important piece of this story. That’s why they will be archived at the Library of Congress.
Choose someone you care about – a loved one, a friend, a mentor, a neighbor, etc – whose experiences or wisdom you want to document and celebrate.
StoryCorps conversations are meant to be spontaneous, authentic, and unscripted. But, we also recognize that discussions of COVID-19 may bring up topics of loss, death, and suffering. We’ve developed a list of great questions to inspire your conversation, but ultimately what you talk about during your recording is entirely up to you. Follow your curiosity, and use this as an opportunity to ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask, or document special stories you want to preserve.
When you complete your interview, it will automatically be saved in the StoryCorps archive as part of the COVID-19 American History Project collection. You’ll have the ability to control the privacy settings for your interview in the archive – with the option to either make your interview public, or to make it accessible only to other StoryCorps online archive users. (You can also delete recordings, and record new interviews, if you need to.) You can adjust your privacy settings at any time.
The American Folklife Center will be celebrating and sharing this interview archive with researchers as part of the COVID-19 American History Project. It will not be used for any commercial or advertising purposes. We’re excited to share these projects as they come together! For more information, please contact Douglas Peach, Folklife Specialist at the American Folklife Center

Why should i participate?

Recording with StoryCorps is an opportunity to:

Honor someone you care about.

Take time to talk about the things that matter most with someone who has played an important role in your life. 

Build understanding.

Your recording will help students, researchers, & more understand the experience of living during COVID-19.

Create a legacy for the future.

You’ll be part of history, with your story preserved in the Library of Congress and the COVID-19 American History Project. 

Begin the healing process.

Sharing stories can heal, especially given the many losses caused by COVID-19.