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Voices of the First Coast

About Voices of the First Coast

Jacksonville Public Library and WJCT are collaborating to capture the oral histories of Northeast Florida through Voices of the First Coast. The initiative’s mission is to record, preserve and share the stories that matter most to our community. Voices of the First Coast is modeled after StoryCorps, a nationwide story collecting project featured regularly on National Public Radio.

Sharing a conversation is easy. Participants may check out a recording kit from the Circulation Desk at the Main Library and return the kit along with their recorded story. Each full 40-minute conversation will be stored in the Florida Collection at the Jacksonville Public Library, with a signed release from the participants. As the collection builds, WJCT, our community-supported public broadcasting station, will craft selected stories into radio documentaries to air in the future.

Voices of the First Coast is made possible through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

How to Tell Your Story

Recording a story between you and a family member or friend is simple. Decide who should interview you, or choose a person whose experiences you would like to share. After you’ve picked your participants and your topic, visit the Circulation Desk at the Main Library to check out a recording kit. When you return the kit and the signed release form, your recording is archived and will become a part of local oral history.

Where are recordings stored?

Every story collected–with a signed release form–will be permanently stored within the Jacksonville Public Library’s Florida Collection and will also be archived with the Jacksonville Historical Society.

Do I have to submit my recording to the Florida Collection at the Jacksonville Public Library?

No. You are not required to submit your recording to the Florida Collection. If you choose not to submit your recording, do not sign the release form enclosed in the kit.