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StoryCorps iPhone app helps you share your family's history

by Dan Kricke

History is kept in many different ways, but whether passed down through generations via books or through tales told by a village's elder to its young people, the preservation of stories and memories is an important tradition that helps keep a culture's customs alive for generations to come.

Thanks to the iPhone and StoryCorps, recording that history just became quite a bit easier. The StoryCorps iPhone app (free) should help the StoryCorps project streamline the process of capturing people's stories. For those who aren't familiar with the project, StoryCorps aims to raise people’s awareness of oral history and provide them the opportunity to record their own stories to preserve at the Library of Congress.

The StoryCorps app does a fine job most of all by simply explaining the mission of StoryCorps and showing users, in a step-by-step fashion, how they can become a part of the project.

With an outline showing how you’d select your subject, create a question list and even tips for recording, StoryCorps has done most of the research for the user already. They have even provided dozens of sample questions you can ask.

As a bonus, the StoryCorps iPhone app has over 30 interview samples for users to listen to. Each clip is only a portion of the interview, but they go a long way in showing potential interviewers what to expect out of the project.

All told, the StoryCorps project is a noble goal; and as a free app, it does a good job explaining the project and attempting to draw potential new interviewers in. It’s also easy to use and understand, especially for novice iPhone users. While oral history professionals will not necessarily need this app to get started on contributing to StoryCorps, it would be a great beginning for someone new to the field.