Thank you for listening

A big thank you to everyone that has come and listened politely and asked good questions at our Historypin talks over the last few months. They’ve been a great way of starting conversations with clever, creative people and we’ll be doing heaps more in 2012.

Some of the highlights…

Nick at TEDxLondon, London – organised by the fantastic Seeper, with around 1,000 people brought together at the Roundhouse in Camden around the theme of an “Education Revolution

Nick & Jon at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney – hosted by our fantastic partners at the Museum and part of our budding Australian Memory Project (more to follow)

Nick at TEDxNHH, Bergen – run by a dedicated group of student volunteers the Norwegian Business School and attended by a very bright bunch that all wanted Historypin stickers

Jon at the Smithsonian, Washington DC – a introduction to Historypin and LODLAM and available online thanks to the Smithsonian CTO Series

Ghost Signs from Louisville, USA to London, UK

The Histoypin team is always excited to see the myriad of different ways people and archives are using the site and app to capture, preserve and resurrect historical moments in their neighbourhoods. And we particularly love seeing Historypinners inspire fellow Historypinners.

Over the past six months The University of Louisville Photographic Archives have been sharing their fantastic collections on Historypin and have curated a series of Tours, including ‘Ghost Signs of Louisville‘ which takes you on on a journey around old advertising signs in Louisville, KY, USA.

This inspired Sam Roberts (@sroberts @ghostsigns) to create this great Tour of Stoke Newington Ghost Signs in London, UK.

Explore the Tours on, or if you’re a local with a smartphone you can download the Historypin app to explore the photos in situ and take some modern replicas. And you can learn more about Ghost Signs here.

Have you got photos of fading ghost signs that have survived in a world of ephemeral digital advertising? Or photos of signs that are now long lost? Add them to Historypin and help preserve the signposts of our old neighbourhood hang outs.

Spring Washington DC Internship

We have a unique internship opportunity in Washington DC, our first of many spots that will be opening up in the US over the next few years.

We’re partnering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC as they celebrate the centennial of the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees bestowed on Washington, DC by Tokyo, Japan.

This internship position will explore digital preservation and online curation in the unique setting of a digital project combined with live event production.  Deadline for application: January 5, 2012.  Full posting can be downloaded here.

A Photo History of Life in Nature

Nature Conservancy interns recreate a pose struck by the the organizations’ founders in 1951

During its 60 years, the Nature Conservancy has collected lots of photos of the natural world and the people who have explored it and worked to protect it. We are very excited that they have been sharing some of the gems from their collection on Historypin, from tree planting in Oregon in 1938 to the Camelback Mountain in 1990.

Explore their archive to see how the natural world has changed, and check out their Collection for a selection of their favorite nature photos.

Add your photo to their Collection by pinning your photos and memories on Historypin and tagging your photo ‘Nature Conservancy’.

You can find out more about the Nature Conservancy here and follow them @nature_org.


Historypin Workshop in Orange County, CA

The Orange County Heritage Coordinating Council is running a hands-on digital history workshop, for FREE, to the Orange County heritage community.

Learn more about how to use Historypin, upload content from your own collections and hear about Santa Ana Public Library’s experiences of sharing their collection. The session will be run by Colleen Greene (@colleengreene), systems librarian at the Pollak Library at California State University, Fullerton. She is a frequent presenter and instructor on social media and Web 2.0 topics.

Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Time: 10:30 am to 12pm (immediately following our abbreviated HCC meeting from 10am to 10:30am)
Location: Pollak Library (PLN 303) at Cal State Fullerton

For more information see the OC Heritage Coordinating Council blog.

Interview with Alison Kennedy from Manchester Archives

What’s your name?
Alison Kennedy

And what you doing in the Historypin offices?!
I’m doing a Historypin Internship for a week

What’s been your best moment here?
When I found a surprising image whilst carrying out a research task. I was looking at online image archives of ex-commonwealth countries and came across one in Singapore, my family has a long association with Singapore and I decided to search the database for my family name not really expecting to find anything but lo and behold an image popped up of my Gran looking fresh faced at her engagement party. It was a fantastic image and it absolutely made my day, and hopefully one day soon it could be uploaded to Historypin!

Where are you currently working?
I am a trainee on the National Archives ‘Opening Up Archives’ programme. The programme’s primary goal is to diversify the archives profession by providing an entry route into the archive and heritage sector for those with non-traditional backgrounds.

There are 13 full-time one year workplace traineeships in a range of specialist areas at various host archives. I am based at the Manchester Archives and the main specialist area I am focusing on is community engagement. I come from an arts/media background and I have a particular interest in photography, films and online social networking.

How did you hear about Histroypin?
I had heard about Historypin through a colleague who had already contributed some images to the site. I have been working a lot with the images collection at the Manchester Archives and am always trying to find more ways to make the images more accessible, to as wide an audience as possible, after spending a lot of time on the Historypin website I soon discovered that it was a fantastic resource for me to be able to do this.

Why did you want to intern at Histroypin?
I decided that it would be of benefit to me to do a work placement at the Historypin offices in London as it fitted in with my training plan and I wanted to know more about the process they go through in order to promote what they do to colleagues and other archives as well as getting a chance to show off some of the fantastic images we hold at the Manchester Archives to a large new audience. I wanted to share ideas as essentially our aims are the same- to ‘open up archives’.

What did you do in your internship?
During my week at Historypin I gained a wider understanding of their uploading process and how the website works as a whole, I learnt some useful tips when it comes to searching for a location and geotagging images.

It was really useful for me to attend a presentation done by Historypin’s CEO Nick as I saw how important it is to get out there and promote the site on a personal level and how the marketing and promotion side of Historypin has really made an impact and is working. It was also interesting to find out what other archives and similar organisations think of the project, the questions they have, the common issues that come up and the way Historypin can help them.

It was great to be able to discuss online outreach and sharing ideas of how best to utilise social networking sites. Discussing outreach work was useful and will hopefully lead to future partnerships such as facilitating a project like Magic Me in Manchester and the documents given to me by Freddie (one of the Histroypin team) will be particularly valuable when I come to do this.

It was very exciting to hear about the future plans of Historypin’s development and inevitable global domination which will give archives an even greater platform to show off their fantastic and often hidden collections.

Funding Historypin

Saguin Emergency Money from World War II, from Historypin user ricksaguin.

Since the launch of Historypin in New York in July this year, we’ve been blown away by people’s response to it.

Everything about the project, from visits to the site, to institutional partners coming on board, to the impact of our local projects, has surpassed our expectations. All of this has made the team realise that we’re just scratching the surface of how quickly the Historypin community can grow and what it can achieve.

Behind all this growth is the killer question (and one that we get asked everywhere we go) – how is Historypin funded?

The full answer needs around 10,000 words and lots of diagrams, all of which is contained in our bigger planning document (e-mail me at if you’d like a copy of the public version).

The short answer is that Historypin, as a non-commercial project run by a non-profit organisation, We Are What We Do, has to be more entrepreneurial, rather than less.

Despite the interest, we will never take on venture capital investment and, despite the need for lots of sustainable income to cover growing costs, we’ll never sell advertising or put up a pay-wall.

What we will do is combine, on the one hand, traditional philanthropy and programme funding from Trusts and Foundations, with service delivery and product development for partners and users on the other. Through this, we aim to piece together a model that protects our core social aims and values while allowing the Historypin community to flourish, with more tools and features, better usability, more local projects, more work with schools and more support for institutions.

Tour Washington DC’s Penn Quarter

This week the annual National Council for the Social Studies Conference (#ncss2011) is in Washington DC and the US National Archives have created a virtual tour of DC’s past for conference attendees – or anyone interested in exploring DC’s past.

You can take the full Tour of the Penn Quarter Neighborhood on the Historypin site. Or if you’re in DC, download the Historypin app to your tablet or smartphone to see the photos in situ as you walk between the Walter E. Washington Convention Center toward the National Archives building and National Mall area. As you stroll down the main corridor and sidestreets of 7th Street NW, the Historypin app will use your GPS location to suggest images along the route where you can stop and view historic photographs and documents from the past, juxtaposed with modern scenery. Stops include the nation’s first telegraph office and Ford’s Theater in 1865.

For more from the US National Archive, have a look at their blogs, follow them on @USNatArchives and check out their Historypin Profile.