StoryCorps Teams Up With Major San Francisco Institutions For New Permanent Location

Airbnb and the San Francisco Public Library will host StoryCorps’ West Coast hub, giving residents the opportunity to add their stories to the renowned national archive

January 27, 2014, NEW YORK, NY–StoryCorps, the national oral history organization, will call the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) its new home in the Bay Area, with Airbnb as its lead sponsor. Airbnb is the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company. To date, StoryCorps has the largest single collection of voices ever gathered, from nearly 90,000 people in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

In partnership with SFPL and Airbnb, StoryCorps in San Francisco will give residents the opportunity to record and archive their unique and powerful stories. StoryCorps housed a booth in San Francisco from October 2008 to January 2014 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum and collected more than 3,000 interviews. With this new location, StoryCorps will redouble its effort to honor and celebrate stories from residents of the Bay Area. Local public radio station KALW will continue to be StoryCorps in San Francisco’s broadcast partner, and KQED will join as a media sponsor.

StoryCorps interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained facilitator guides the participants through the interview process. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a CD copy of their interview. With their permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Segments of select interviews air on local public radio and may also air nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Founded in 2003 by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Dave Isay, StoryCorps aims to create a growing portrait of who we are as a nation.

“It has been a remarkable experience for StoryCorps to record the stories of the Bay Area,” says Dave Isay. “As StoryCorps begins its second decade of service, it’s an honor to have such terrific partners in San Francisco, where we will continue to expand our reach and spread our message: that every life and every story matter.”

“We are honored and excited to welcome the StoryCorps recording booth to the Skylight Gallery at the San Francisco Main Library,” says City Librarian Luis Herrera. “Our library and our city offer such a diverse community of voices with exciting, historic, and powerful stories to tell. We expect this collaboration to be a wonderful opportunity for library users and for all residents to create an oral record that preserves the experiences of their lives.”

“Airbnb brings hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world together every day to share their cities and their stories,” says Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia. “That’s why we’re proud to be partnering with StoryCorps, which has celebrated the power of individual stories for more than a decade. We look forward to supporting the incredible work they continue to do.”

To ensure the diversity of participants, StoryCorps sponsors major initiatives: StoryCorps Historias collects the stories of Latinos throughout the United States and Puerto Rico; StoryCorps Griot preserves the voices and experiences of African Americans; the Military Voices Initiative records, shares, and preserves the stories of post-9/11 veterans, active-duty service members, and their families; and OutLoud will launch in 2014 to collect the stories of the LGBT community.