Recording with the StoryCorps app is about sitting down with a someone you care about, asking them a few important questions about their thoughts and the life they have lived, and then listening. It is a great opportunity to learn something new about someone you think you already know so much about, and as importantly, it’s a chance for the two of you to connect.
In 2015, we launched The Great Thanksgiving Listen and thousands of schools from all 50 states participated and helped preserve over 50,500 individual recordings at the Library of Congress. Since the app debuted in March 2015, more than 100,000 individual interviews have been uploaded.
The StoryCorps.me website and the archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress are both crucial parts of The Great Thanksgiving Listen. The StoryCorps.me website allows current users to search all interviews recorded during The Great Thanksgiving Listen in order to learn more about our shared humanity. The Library of Congress, as our long-term preservation partner, will preserve these amazing interviews and family histories to live beyond our lifetimes and into the future for our great, great, great grandchildren to learn about where they came from through our own voices and first-person accounts.
But to access the voices in the StoryCorps archive, you need a key—a keyword to be exact!
Keywords are descriptive tags that will help current StoryCorps App users and future generations of friends and loved ones, historians, and researchers find interviews and information on StoryCorps.me. Keywords are shortened versions of the classic who, what, when, where, and why questions. Adding meaningful keywords will help make your interview accessible for years to come!
Tips for Great Keywording:
When you participate in an interview directly through the StoryCorps app, you will be prompted to enter keywords and a summary when you have finished recording. You can edit keywords through the app before you publish your interview, and on the StoryCorps.me website at any time.
The StoryCorps app and the StoryCorps.me website ask you to provide four types of keywords: General, Organizations, Places, and Location.
General: Keywords that describe the major themes discussed in the interview (marriage, peach pie, swimming, 1940s), as well as any recording languages other than English (Portuguese).
Organizations: Keywords that connect your interview with organizations and schools that you have recorded in partnership with, or that are mentioned in the interview so that your stories can be part of a much larger collection. (Luso-American Fraternal Federation)
Places: Keywords that describe the locations discussed during the interview (Monterey, CA, Pacific Coast Highway 1).
Location: Keywords that provide the city and state where your interview was recorded.
To edit your title, summary, or keywords from a smartphone: Log on to the app, click [ … ] in the lower right hand corner of your interview, and select “Edit Info.”
To edit your title, summary, or keywords from a desktop computer: Log on to your StoryCorps.me account, go to “View Profile,” and click on the edit icon in the upper right hand corner of the interview.
Try to provide between five and 15 total keywords per interview, and don’t forget to include TheGreatListen2016 as a “General” keyword, and your state abbreviation as a “Place” keyword.
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