Is there any sort of clearinghouse for oral histories and memoirs?

Say someone decides to write a memoir about, oh, working in a NYC restaurant in the early 1970s. I have done this, just to get my thoughts down on paper, and I’m pleased with the result. My kids couldn’t care less (for now–I’ll leave them my memoir in my stuff, but they may never care less) but a better use for this memoir (and about 30 others) may be to donate to some archive where future historians could perhaps make some use of it someday. Is there any place I could interest in taking this, or have I produced it for my own amusement?

Just spitballing, I’d imagine that current historians would love to have a trove of such snippets into the lives of 14th-century French physicians or 16th-century Japanese farmers but such things, if they even existed, are hard to record and maintain and store over the centuries, but we seem to have the storage process pretty well mastered. Is anyone trying to piggyback on our technological capacities to undertake such a mission, or are we content as a society to let history take care of itself?

There are many oral history projects. One was run with WNYC NYC Public Radio, I’m not sure if it is still running.

Finding the right one for your material is probably the trick.

This might be a good place to start learning about these projects:

NPR has a setup called “StoryCorps” which sounds like what you are looking for:

The Conversation of a Lifetime – StoryCorps

Also, if you’re really talking about your experiences in NYC, the New York Public Library might be interested in receiving your oral history. They used to have a project to collect such things.

The Internet Archive might be the way to go. There’s a page for directly uploading material, located here.

Probably not exactly what you’re looking for, but it’s a great project, so I’ll mention the NY Tenement Museum’s “Your Story, Our Story” project, with object-based stories of immigration and migration. Some really touching and beautiful stuff there,

I’ll second this, at least as something to consider. I had several recorded interviews with my father in the last couple years of his life, and I uploaded them there. I’ll also upload my memoirs “when I’m done”, and consider uploading certain other things, like photos, if I think a more general audience might find them useful (for example, a photo of my father launching weather rockets).

This is what I came in to recommend. StoryCorps archives its recordings with the Library of Congress. You’ll be preserved for future historians, writers, and other intellectuals to learn from your wisdom.

And you can download an App for ease of use.