We are pleased to report that this week, our joint crowdsourcing project with Stanford University, Year of the Bay, became a part of an exciting new museum exhibition in San Francisco. The exhibit, called Curating the Bay: Crowdsourcing a New Environmental History, is a collaboration with the California Historical Society (CHS) to open their collections to the public in a new and interactive way.
Museums and archives alike always aspire to having a completed history of a certain topic, and in Curating the Bay the CHS takes a leap into uncharted territory by asking visitors to fill in the blanks rather than presenting them with a finished narrative. Many of the photographs, paintings, and documents in their collections still contain historical mysteries, and the exhibition invites the public to help solve them as well as to contribute their own stories and materials.
This is where Historypin comes in. Excitingly, we have set up a pinning station within the CHS’s exhibition, so visitors can scan and add their materials into the Year of the Bay project while they are there. And since the project is at yearofthebay.org, visitors not only from the Bay Area but from all over the world can contribute to the history of San Francisco Bay.
A huge number of people came out in support of the exhibit during its opening this past Sunday, April 7. With music, food, drinks, and good conversation, many visitors expressed excitement at the prospect of contributing to history.
One of my favorite parts of the exhibition is a touchscreen display of the Year of the Bay website that we created just for exhibits (pictured below).
And with great visual flair, the CHS has surrounded the touchscreen display with an analog version of the map of the Bay Area directly behind the touchscreen, complete with pins! As the exhibition continues, they will add visitor contributions to the wall along with their own “pins.” Fantastic!
With this exhibition and the outreach activities surrounding it, we hope to help create a richer and more diverse history of the San Francisco Bay. Since the opening, we have already received many wonderful contributions to yearofthebay.org from all over the world. If you are in the Bay Area from now until August 25th, come on down to the exhibition and try your hand at solving some historical mysteries, or follow along online as we tweet about them weekly.
And finally, videos and pictures are sometimes worth more than words, so here is a short video Historypin has made to explain our exciting new Year of the Bay project. Take a look!