Everybody's favorite (mainly) radio documentarian, David Isay, has a new project new project, StoryCorps. Their mission: To instruct and inspire Americans to collect one another's stories in sound. Our goal is to give people the guidance and tools they need to record high-quality interviews with their family and friends. The New York Times follows Isay around as he tries his hand at an oral history. The article also outlines what an oral history really is, "For example, this newspaper article describes the current status of Mr. Isay's project. Were it a work of oral history, this article would focus on David Isay's describing how it felt to be him and to have an office in downtown Manhattan in the early years of the new century, when he was planning a big project."
People will be able to participate in the project at booths all over the country. The first booth will be at Grand Central Terminal in October:
People rushing from train to street will move past a six-by-eight-foot box of gray sheet metal wrapped in a translucent skin with a honeycomb pattern. Stopping to inspect the booth, they may push a button activating a speaker and playing aloud an edited sample oral history interview.
Mr. Isay hopes that people will stop long enough to make an appointment to go inside, bringing a family member or friend to sit in simple wooden chairs beside a table with two microphones. In the room, a trained mediator will quickly teach them a few interviewing techniques chief among these is not interrupting then monitor recording equipment as one person interviews the other. The whole process will take three-quarters of an hour.
It's totally fascinating and ambitiuos. Gothamist will definitley be there in October.