Tell Me a Story: MGC Oral and Written History Projects

Tell Me a StoryOral History Project

Oral history is an important part of genealogical research. It is connecting with family still living to discover stories and to flesh out the character of those who have gone before us. In September 2010, Mid-Continent Public Library brought StoryCorps to Kansas City for a month to record stories of residents of the Kansas City metro area. StoryCorps is a national initiative to record and preserve the living history of the United States. Tell Me a Story is a Mid-Continent Public Library initiative to provide the continuing ability to record and preserve the memories, stories, and living history of residents in the metro area. 

Tell Me a Story is a recorded conversation between two people who know each other. During that time, a segment of one person’s life or a shared memory is recorded, archived, and shared on the Midwest Genealogy Center’s website. No cost is associated with this initiative, but donations are gladly accepted. Download sample questions before your appointment.

Download oral histories through OverDrive or browse below to listen online.


Drumm Farm Alumni 2012  Drumm Farm Alumni Reunion 2012

Some of the "Drumm Farm boys" and their stories of growing up at "The Farm" in Independence, Missouri in the 1940s-1950s.

African-American Bowlers  African-American Bowlers and Segregation

Stories of those athletes of yesteryear who bowled in substandard bowling alleys, who were not allowed to compete in certain cities, and even some who had to stay in private homes because they were not allowed to lodge in motels.

Edgerton Pioneer Days  Edgerton, Missouri Pioneer Days 2011

Long-time Edgerton, Missouri residents share stories of growing up in small-town Edgerton, Missouri in the 1900s. 

 Forty Years of Monday Night Football    Forty Years of Monday Night Football

A group of men get together for every Monday Night Football game and have for forty years now; Hear their stories of friendship and camaraderie through the years. 

Additional "Tell Me A Story" Recordings


 Janice Schultz  Short stories recorded by MGC Staff


Bi-Folkal Kits

Need some help getting the conversations started on your oral history? Need a program jump-start for your senior center, retirement community, assisted-living center, day care or nursing home facility? Check this listing of our Bi-Folkal kits which have two focuses--Remembering and Sharing. Everything you need is in the bag; multi-media, multi-sensory resources focus on one broad universal theme--decades, seasons, work, pets and more. Simply choose your kit and check it out with your Mid-Continent Public Library card. 

Written History Project

Build Your Life Story is a six-week class conducted throughout the year to assist in the writing of life stories. Check the Events calendar for the next scheduled series and sign up now! Below are some of the stories, with permission granted from the authors, that have come from that class.

Life Changing Question by Charlotte McIntosh

Danny, Me and Sweet Revenge by Margie Friel

Grandma's Lead Pencil by Darleen Swails

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