Help the Library record the American saga in three projects designed to collect stories of the Civil Rights movement, accounts of veterans of war, and oral histories of everyday citizens.
|| StoryCorps Project ||
StoryCorps is a national initiative to instruct and inspire individuals to record oral histories and create meaningful personal experiences for the participants. With 2000 stories already collected from the project's first year, StoryCorps will collect more than 250,000 interviews over the next ten years. Most of the stories already collected are from the StoryCorps recording booth in New York City's Grand Central Station, but the project is now going on the road with two MobileBooths in customized Airstream trailers, traveling to every corner of the United States. The project is the brainchild of MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay and his award-winning documentary company, Sound Portraits Productions. His vision is for StoryCorps to model—in spirit and in scope—the Works Progress Administration's (WPA) Oral History Project of the 1930s, through which oral-history interviews with everyday Americans across the country were recorded. These recordings, housed at the Library's American Folklife Center, remain the single most important collection of American voices gathered to date. StoryCorps will build and expand on that work, becoming a WPA for the 21st Century.
|| Voices of Civil Rights ||
Voices of Civil Rights is a multifaceted project to collect and preserve thousands of personal stories and oral histories of the Civil Rights movement, forming the world's largest archive of personal accounts of civil rights history. The era of struggle involving thousands of African Americans and others in the 1950s and 1960s was a pivotal period in civil rights history. It captivated the world and inspired millions. And yet America's civil rights story also includes those who battled discrimination in the decades before and after. It transcends race, age, gender, and national origin. Voices of Civil Rights hopes to preserve the entire story. It is our way of honoring the quest for freedom that continues to build the nation and change the world. The project is a collaboration among AARP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) and the Library of Congress, and the Library will eventually house the entire collection.
|| Veterans History Project ||
The Veterans History Project is a collection of first-hand accounts of U.S. veterans from the World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, and the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. In addition, those U.S. citizen civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) are also part of this oral history project. Some of the audio- and video-taped interviews donated to the project were recorded by professional folklorists, but most were conducted by family members, friends, neighbors, students, and other volunteers whose enthusiasm and respect for their subjects outweigh the technical shortcomings that occasionally surface in the recordings. The interviews have taken place in private homes, retirement communities, VFW halls, schools, and libraries. They touch on all aspects of America's war experiences at home and abroad--from the routine to the extraordinary, from enlistment to discharge. This project also collects photographs, letters, diaries and other memorabilia from past conflicts. To date, the project has accounts from over 35,000 veterans and civilians.
Dates, Locations, and Registration Information