StoryCorps a great way to save family history

StoryCorps, a nonprofit program now in its 10th year, is a great way to record for posterity a relative discussing the family’s story or any subject needing a permanent, professional recording.

The StoryCorps location at the Atlanta History Center is only the third in the U.S. To make an appointment, call 1-800-850-4406 at least a month in advance, with recording sessions scheduled on Tuesdays and Saturdays only.

Posted at is a list of possible questions to use in interviewing your relative. (These are good questions to use in any family interview, even if you don’t visit StoryCorps.) When you arrive at the Atlanta History Center, you are on your own to do the interviewing, which is audio recorded by a professional staff member. No video is recorded. There is a brief orientation and discussion before you begin.

The taping lasts 40 minutes per session. You sign release forms afterward and can agree or not to have the interview used by the Library of Congress as part of the publicity for the national program. Participants are given a free CD of the recording. Security and permanent copies are kept at the American Folklike Center of the Library of Congress.

The Atlanta History Center has a traveling story kit that it loans for use at family reunions. On the main StoryCorps website, check out other initiatives. More local information can be found at or by checking and search for StoryCorps. The AHC is in partnership with Public Broadcasting Atlanta on this initiative and some prior interviews can be heard on

Tombstone repatriation

Often, a tombstone ends up in the wrong place. The city of Decatur’s Focus newsletter recently reported that a tombstone found off Briarcliff Road was returned to its rightful place in the Decatur City Cemetery. Many stray tombstones often wind up in city or county police and sheriff’s impound lots. It would be good if local historical and genealogical societies checked with these authorities from time to time to help repatriate any tombstones that turn up.

Wikis can be helpful

An avid reader pointed out the value of wikis on the website and how helpful they are to her. On the website go to “search” and then “wiki,” where you will find nearly 75,000 articles in the research wiki section. There should be something there on any genealogy subject you can think of.

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Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr. at P.O. Box 901, Decatur, GA 30031 or