Listen to Lives

For more than ten years YourStory has recorded the life stories of thousands of individuals. While many of these have been in our original studio locations and at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital, others that have been recorded as special projects include:

  • The Centennial of the Salt Lake City YWCA
  • One Hundred Years of Greek-Americans in Utah
  • Stories of Copperton, Utah and Bingham Canyon
  • Refugee Voices
  • Body Stories (to accompany the BodyWorlds exhibit at The Leonardo)
  • Saddle Stories from Boulder, Utah
  • Ireland's Island Women

Presented here are only a small fraction of the stories we have recorded. They should give you an idea of the richness of the lives of our neighbors, friends, and those we have yet to meet. Enjoy!

Studio Recordings

Studio Recordings

From 2003 until 2010 the YourStory program recorded interviews with Utahns in studios in downtown Salt Lake City, first at the Museum of Utah Art and History and then at the Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Art. Presented here are just a few selections from the hundreds of life stories that have been recorded. They demonstrate the similarities, diversity and uniqueness of each narrator’s life experiences, and in the process, they provide us with a greater understanding of our community as a whole.

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Refugee Voices

Refugee Voices

In the summer of 2006 the YourStory program began to record the life stories of refugees now living in Utah. The project goal was to document the rich diversity of life experiences present in refugee communities throughout the state. The International Rescue Committee’s Salt Lake City office, as well as the State of Utah’s Department of Workforce Services, and the Utah Arts Council’s Folk Arts Program have been important collaborators. Catholic Community Services and the Asian Association of Utah have become involved more recently in recommending potential refugees who would like to share their life stories.

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Utah’s Greek Centennial

Utah’s Greek Centennial

In preparation for the centennial of the establishment of the Greek community in Utah, from 2005 through 2009 YourStory worked with members of the Greek-American community to record the life stories of several second-generation Utahns whose parents originally came to Utah in the early part of the 20th century. The following are just a few of the amazing stories told by these passionate and engaging individuals as they recount their younger days in the mining towns and in the “big city” of Salt Lake.

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Salt Lake YWCA’s Centennial HerStory Project

Salt Lake YWCA’s Centennial HerStory Project

For the centennial of the YWCA's arrival in Salt Lake City, YourStory collaborated with the organization to present an exhibit entitled "HerStory" at the Museum of Utah Art and History in 2006. We recorded the stories of many women who had been a part of the life of the YWCA during the last one hundred years and created an audio tour to accompany photographs of the accomplishments of this incredible organization. Accompanying this brief sampling of a few of those stories are some of the photos from the "HerStory" exhibit. We'll be rotating stories and photos periodically to present a fuller understanding of the amazing work and wide-ranging successes of the YWCA in Salt Lake.

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Huntsman Cancer Hospital’s “Living Legacy”

Huntsman Cancer Hospital’s “Living Legacy”

In the summer of 2005 YourStory began a partnership with the Huntsman Cancer Hospital to record the life story of any cancer patient who requested this service. To date, over 1,200 individuals have recorded their personal histories, providing both a lasting legacy for their families and friends, and a time of reflection during the treatment process. The following stories demonstrate the rich range of experiences shared by those touched by a cancer diagnosis. Primarily these stories are about lives lived fully and not about the struggles these remarkable people have had.

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Boulder Saddle Stories

Boulder Saddle Stories

Boulder Saddle Stories documents the family stories surrounding both the history of saddle making and use in the area surrounding Boulder, UT, as well as the values those saddles represent to this community. Since ranching has been and continues to be a major occupation and way of life in Boulder and in the Escalante Grand Staircase area, a focus on oral histories of saddle making and use reveals the underlying assumptions, beliefs, and values shared by the inhabitants of this part of the state of Utah.

For several years the Boulder Heritage Foundation has put on a festival to celebrate the history and arts of the area. A significant part of that festival is called “The Saddle Corral,” in which various members of the community bring their family saddles to display. In 2010 and 2011, funded by the Utah Humanities Council, the Boulder Heritage Foundation partnered with YourStory: Record and Remember to record the stories behind the saddles. These stories and accompanying photographs were published as Boulder Saddles in 2014. A sample of some of the stories are presented here.

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Women of Ireland's Islands

Women of Ireland's Islands

In the first decade of the 21st century, YourStory recorded the stories of older women living on the islands of Roaringwater Bay, County Cork, Ireland. Isolated from the mainland for most of their lives, these women display remarkable resilience, humor, and knowledge about traditional culture. Here you will find tales of banshees and ghosts, cutting turf and herding sheep, courtship and visiting. These are remarkable women who have much to teach us all.

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