StoryCorps moving from CJM to library

After  more than five years of recording the stories of visitors to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, StoryCorps will begin moving to a new location in February: the San Francisco Public Library.

StoryCorps’ portable recording booth has been set up at the CJM since October 2008, four months after the museum opened in its current location. It has recorded more than 3,000 interviews and stories from more than 6,500 participants; additionally, 700 on-site interviews were conducted at organizations and schools throughout the Bay Area.

San Francisco public radio station KALW will continue to partner with StoryCorps in its new location at the Main Library on Larkin Street. The impending move was announced in a press release this week, and a spokesperson said there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the library on Feb. 21.

Founded in 2003 by documentary producer Dave Isay, StoryCorps records 40-minute conversations between two people, usually family members. The conversations are sometimes revelatory and often emotional.

The project is the largest oral history project of its kind. Participants are given a copy of their recorded conversation and another copy is added to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Selected pieces are aired on local public radio stations and on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

One of the goals of StoryCorps is to record stories that capture a diversity of backgrounds from people around the nation. It is the largest known collection of oral histories in the world, with more than 50,000 interviews making up the StoryCorps archives.

The CJM was the first museum in the country to host a StoryCorps booth. It was originally supposed to be there only one year, but its stay was extended several times. — j. staff