The Fort Scott National Historic Site is looking for people who have stories to tell about the history of the fort over the years as the National Parks Service and StoryCorps work together to record stories from sites in the Midwest region in honor of the NPS Centennial year in 2016.
StoryCorps, a non-profit organization in existence for a decade, has helped thousands of people over those years record their stories and are now helping the NPS do the same. Those recordings will be stored in archives as well as used on the StoryCorps’ weekly radio broadcast on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.
“What we would be looking for is pairs of people who have interesting stories to tell about maybe something that happened here at the fort,” said Holly Baker, chief of interpretation and resource management at the fort, adding that could be a wide variety of people, such as volunteers at the fort, those involved in making it a national site or residents of the orphanage. “Anyone else who has had a special tie to this place and has a story that they can share that would be interesting to a national audience.”
The project asks for participants to tell their stories in pairs, using their dialogue to tell the story instead of an actual interview. Each recording will last about 40 minutes.
“We’ve got some folks in mind who have stories to tell and now we’re opening up the invitation,” Baker said, saying anyone interested in participating should contact her at her email: [email protected] or look for examples of such recordings at storycorps.org.
Baker says they hope to have four or five pairs of people committed to the project by the end of the year and a date will be set in the spring for the recording. Whether the recordings from Fort Scott are specifically used on the radio or not, Baker said they will likely be able to get copies of the recordings that can be shared with the community.
“I think it’s certainly very valuable to us to preserve our own oral history and what fascinating things have transpired that some of us may not know about and others of us may have forgotten about,” Baker said, adding that history will then be archived with the NPS for safekeeping.