Getting Started


  • Download the StoryCorps app. Follow the link on the front of the page to either the iTunes store (Apple users) or the Google Play store (Android users) to download the app to your mobile device.
  • Choose an interview partner. Pick an important person in your life. Think about whose story you want to hear and preserve. Who would you like to know more about? Whom would you like to honor by recording and sharing his or her story with the world?
  • Make sure you have uninterrupted time. A typical StoryCorps interview is 40 minutes long, so it is best to find a comfortable, quiet space. Look for rooms with carpeting that will absorb noise, and try to avoid ones that have an echo or windows that look out on trafficked streets. Also avoid public places where crowds and background noises will interfere with recording. Always remember to mute your phone, turn off TVs and music, and silence electronic devices. Before starting, think about anything that may prevent you or your interviewee from focusing on each other or may cause a distraction.

Preparing Your Interview

  • Prepare your questions. Gather a list of questions—you can either write your own or choose from those listed in the question generator built into the app. When compiling your questions, don’t try to fit too many questions into one interview. Be open to the conversation taking unexpected turns.

Recording Your Interview

  • Make sure your interviewee has consented to having his or her voice recorded using the StoryCorps app.
  • Sit close together and make eye contact. Be patient—give your interviewee time to answer, and try not to talk over each other. Note that the microphone is typically located on the bottom of your mobile device, so for the best sound quality, make sure it is pointed toward the person speaking.
  • Both participants should begin by identifying themselves and explaining their connection to each other.
  • Listen closely and ask follow-up questions. Encourage your interviewee to tell a story. We have found that this will help the two of you form a connection and opens up the possibility that the conversation will take an exciting and unexpected turn.
  • Leave time to wrap up the conversation. Time will fly and the app will automatically stop recording after 45 minutes, so it is important to make sure you save time to conclude your interview and thank your interviewee for sharing his or her story with you.

Sharing Your Interview

  • After your interview has concluded, you will be prompted to upload it to the website. Make sure you are connected to Wi-Fi when uploading your interview. Depending on your connection speed, it may take several minutes to complete the upload.
  • Your published interview will then be included on the website as well as in an archive housed at the American Folklife Center at the United States Library of Congress for future generations to listen to, learn from, and enjoy.
  • Uploading your interview will also make it much easier to personally share with others. After uploading, the app will then offer you the opportunity to seamlessly email excerpts of your interview—or even the complete conversation—to anyone you like. This will allow friends and family to have their own copy and to listen and enjoy at their convenience.