The Listening Project is an ambitious new partnership between BBC Radio 4, BBC local and national radio stations, and the British Library.
Capturing the nation in conversation
We are asking people up and down the country to share an intimate conversation with a close friend or relative, to help to build a unique picture of our lives today. Some of these conversations will be broadcast across BBC radio and archived by the British Library, preserving them for future generations.
Gwyneth Williams, Radio 4 controller: "I'd like to invite listeners to help us catch, broadcast and archive for the nation those rare exchanges that really matter; those conversations that can change the course of a life; that are utterly memorable; that we have all had and never forget.”
BBC radio producers have been gathering conversations from across the UK, covering everything from living with Alzheimer’s to falling in love in the front seat of a Reliant Robin. Now we’d like you to have, record and share your own conversations.
Perhaps you know someone with a fantastic story that you’d love them to share with the world. There may be something that you’ve always wanted to discuss with someone close to you. Or maybe you’d just like to celebrate happy moments in your life, or reflect on memories of a dearly departed friend. What you talk about is completely up to you. This project is about creating space for you and a loved one to have the conversation you always meant to have.
By taking part you’ll also have the chance to be part of history - you can choose to submit your conversation to the British Library, who may add it to their permanent audio archive.
For information about the local radio stations that are participating in the Listening Project and how to get in touch with them see our Stations page.
Recording your conversation at home
We want everyone to have a chance for their conversation to become part of the Listening Project. A conversation that you have at your kitchen table could become part of the oral history archive in the British Library.
Don't worry if you've never recorded anything before. We've written a simple step by step guide - all you need is a computer, laptop, camera or phone with a microphone.
The Listening Project has been inspired by StoryCorps, an initiative set up in the United States. Their mission is “to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives”.
Since 2003 they have recorded more than 35,000 meaningful conversations between two people who know each other (normally couples, relatives or close friends) across the country. The conversations are stored at the Library of Congress.