CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 20, 2015)—The search for South Florida soldiers and their family members is actively under way by StoryCorps, Warmamas, and the University of Miami Libraries (UML). The three organizations are collaborating on StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative, a project that honors veterans and the military community by recording and preserving their stories. Approximately 18 interviews will begin at 9 a.m. on March 11, 12, and 13 at the Otto G. Richter Library on UM’s Coral Gables campus.
Veterans and military families interested in this opportunity to tell their stories should call Patricia Sowers at 786-493-0892, 305-461-5193, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
StoryCorps interviews are conducted as a conversation between two people, while a trained StoryCorps facilitator guides the 40-minute recording session. With the participants’ permission, the recordings of these interviews will be archived at the Library of Congress and segments of select interviews may also air nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition. “We are a people defined by small acts of courage, kindness, and heroism,” says StoryCorps founder David Isay. The Military Voices Initiative builds on this notion and contributes to StoryCorps’ diverse collection by recording and preserving the stories of veterans and military families. It is an opportunity for them to share their experiences in their own words.
The archive of recorded oral histories will be preserved at UML’s Special Collections, located at the Otto G. Richter Library. Open to the public, Special Collections houses a vast repository for researchers on a wide range of topics, with a particular emphasis on South Florida and the Caribbean. “As a community archive, Special Collections actively documents history by collecting materials, from photographs to personal letters to video recordings, that will remain here permanently and ultimately serve to inform, enlighten, and even inspire future generations,” says Chuck Eckman, dean of University of Miami Libraries.
StoryCorps previously partnered with UML on Historias, an initiative to record the diverse stories and life experiences of Latinos in the United States. UML’s Cuban Heritage Collection served as a community partner for Historias interviews conducted locally in 2009. Additional UML oral history projects include the Haitian Diaspora Oral History Collections at Special Collections and multiple oral history projects focusing on Cuban diaspora and Cuban American communities at the Cuban Heritage Collection. Access to oral history collections is available from UML’s website.