Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the National Day of Listening?
- Who should I interview?
- How should I prepare for my interview?
- I’m having trouble uploading my interview
- What kind of equipment should I use?
- How can I preserve my interview?
- What is the Military Voices Initiative?
- Can I do my National Day of Listening interview on another day?
- Will Do-It-Yourself interviews be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress?
- Where can I share my interviews?
- Can I make a contribution to support StoryCorps’ National Day of Listening?
- Where can I listen to StoryCorps stories?
The National Day of Listening is a new national holiday started by StoryCorps in 2008. On the day after Thanksgiving, StoryCorps asks everyone to take a few minutes to record an interview with a loved one. You can use recording equipment that is readily available in most homes, such as computers, iPhones, and digital recorders, along with StoryCorps’ free Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide.
The National Day of Listening is a time to honor a loved one through listening. Interview your grandfather, your aunt, a neighbor, a community member, a mentor, a veteran, or an old friend.
Before you get started, talk with your interview partner about what to expect. It’s also a good idea to create a list of interview questions. StoryCorps’ Question Generator suggests a variety of questions to get you started.
It’s helpful to practice with your recording equipment and to prepare a quiet, comfortable recording space.
Please visit this page for troubleshooting instructions.
You can find recording equipment to fit any budget and levels of technical proficiency. Download our
Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide for equipment recommendations and tips. You can also borrow recording equipment from a friend, community organization, school, or library.
StoryCorps suggests that you handle your interview recordings with care. Label your recordings clearly and completely, including the names of all participants, the date, and interview location. Make multiple copies of your interviews and store them in a safe place that’s easy to remember—among scrapbooks or other mementos, in a filing cabinet, or in a safe deposit box.
The Military Voices Initiative records, shares, and preserves the stories of post-9/11 veterans, active-duty service members, and their families. It amplifies their important stories and lets them know that we—as a nation—are listening.
Yes! Every day can be your own day of listening. We hope that the National Day of Listening will inspire you to conduct interviews throughout the year.
Will Do-It-Yourself interviews be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress?
No. Only interviews recorded with StoryCorps’ professional equipment will be archived in the StoryCorps collection at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. To make a reservation to record your story with StoryCorps, visit storycorps.org.
You can upload your interviews to our Wall of Listening and join others across the country who have shared their stories. You can also upload and distribute your interviews via email or social networks, or give copies of the interview to your friends and family as gifts.
StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization and all contributions are 100% tax-deductible. Your donation helps StoryCorps record, preserve, and share even more stories from communities like yours throughout the United States. Make a secure online donation at storycorps.org/donate.