The StoryCorps Project, a national initiative encouraging Americans to record one another's stories in sound, won a rare Institutional Award during the 66th annual Peabody Awards, administered by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
The StoryCorps recordings, comprising more than 9,000 interviews to date, are being archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
"This is an honor for the American Folklife Center and the Library," said Peggy Bulger, director of the center. "We are pleased to see this important oral history project recognized for its significant contribution to electronic media."
StoryCorps was one of 35 recipients chosen as the best in electronic media for 2006. Other honorees included washingtonpost.com, NBC, ABC and HBO.
"I'm delighted that StoryCorps has been awarded a Peabody, and I'm so pleased to see the project being honored for its contribution to the field," said project founder Dave Isay, who is no stranger to the honor. Over the past two decades, his radio documentary work has won four Peabody Awards.
StoryCorps is modeled—in spirit and in scope—after the Works Progress Administration (later Works Projects Administration) of the 1930s, through which oral history interviews with everyday Americans across the country were recorded. These recordings, also at the American Folklife Center, remain the single most important collection of American voices gathered to date. For more information on StoryCorps, visit www.storycorps.net.
In 2005 StoryCorps launched a new effort, a nationwide tour of two mobile recording booths, which started out from the Library of Congress. (See Information Bulletin, July/August 2005.) After a year on the road, traveling to nearly 45 cities, one of two Airstream trailers equipped with recording studios returned to the Library in May 2006 to celebrate the first year of the national tour of StoryCorps. (See Information Bulletin, July/August 2006.) In March 2007, the StoryCorps mobile recording booths returned again to the Library following a second year on the road. This year StoryCorps also began the Griot Initiative, a one-year campaign to conduct and collect oral interviews from at least 1,750 African-Americans, with an emphasis on the stories of World War II veterans, and men and women involved in the civil rights struggle. For more information on this initiative, visit www.storycorps.net/griot/.
The Peabody Awards, the oldest honor in electronic media, recognize distinguished achievement and meritorious service by radio and television networks, stations, producing organizations, cable television organizations and individuals. They are named after George Foster Peabody, a native Georgian, industrialist, financier and major benefactor of the University of Georgia.
All entries become a permanent part of the Peabody Archive in the University of Georgia Libraries. For more information about the Peabody Archive or the Peabody Awards, visit www.peabody.uga.edu.