SPI is an oral history-based educational resource
We record and share the stories of people who have made a significant contribution in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Our unique, often highly personal recordings allow listeners entry into the lives of those who are, through their work, challenging the status quo or altering the landscape within their field of inquiry. Eyewitnesses to history offer unfiltered, first hand accounts of events and experiences that are part of our collective consciousness. By the simple yet profoundly important act of telling us their story, these artists, scientists, writers, poets – and others – are helping us to better understand the world in which we live – and the world as it is changing. By humanizing science, personalizing art, and making individual the events of a time gone by, SPI stories offer a unique and powerful springboard to learning.
Storytelling is as old as humankind. Before all else, it was through stories that information on language, custom, culture, and history was shared. Human beings are hardwired to tell stories and hardwired to listen to stories. … What we have known intuitively since the beginning of time is now known to be true – when information is given in story form, it is remembered more readily and accurately. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
Far from a passive collection residing on a proprietary website that must be found and accessed by the listener, SPI constantly seeks ways to share and actively integrate the recordings into the public domain and learning environments. This is accomplished by integrating our audio and related material directly into classrooms, the establishment of media affiliations and license agreements, and creating relationships with libraries to serve as institutional repositories. Our collection is archived at the Library of Congress.
Mary Kuechenmeister President / Founder