Those who set their clock radios every morning to awaken to the dulcet murmur of NPR know what it is to start out their Fridays verklempt. The sound of someones voice, often gravelly with age, emits from the speakers, maybe talking about World War II, or how she met her husband. It could be a son asking his widowed father what it was like to raise his kids alone, or a woman telling a story about how she escaped a deadly circus fire when she was just a little girl. Given a showcase and reverence, the stories transcend their ordinariness. Started in 2003, StoryCorps airs every Friday on NPRs Morning Edition and is one of the largest oral history projects ever undertaken. It records the conversations of regular people throughout the country and preserves their recollections at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps has had recording booths in Grand Central Station and in Airstream trailers; the transient StoryCorps StoryBooth finds its latest home in San Francisco, marking the first time the booth has set up shop in a museum. Visitors can make appointments online to record their stories and hear local stories at a listening station.
Oct. 12-11, 2008