Announcing California Pride: Mapping LGBTQ Histories

The California Pride project page on Historypin

Today we are excited to launch our newest project California Pride: Mapping LGBTQ Historiesan online archive of memories, stories, and images related to sites throughout the state of California associated with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) experiences.

Supported by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the California Preservation Foundation, and led by architectural and public historians Shayne Watson and Donna Graves respectively, this project aims to identify and interpret historic places associated with LGBTQ history in California. This also includes information about sites important to LGBTQ communities of color, transgender people, the bisexual community, and other under-documented groups within the LGBTQ communities. In a wider context, this project builds on recent studies in San Francisco and Los Angeles that document the critical role California has played in LGBTQ history in the United States.

Jewel Thais-Williams posing inside of Jewel's Catch One in Los Angeles, California. Thais-Williams founded the nightclub in 1973, and not only was it one of the first African American discos in the country, but it was also one of the few places in LA where LGBTQ African Americans felt welcome in the midst of widespread discrimination. Photo by Katie Falkenberg, pinned to California Pride by Shayne Watson.

Explore and upload material online

LGBTQ history is best told by the people who have lived it—you can help this project reflect on the diverse places that tell the stories of the LGBTQ community in the Golden State. Visit the California Pride project on Historypin here, and click the button below or in the project to contribute to the digital archive.

If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you, just email Kerri at kerri.young@historypin.org.

Memories of The Old Eagle

Last month, the Historypin team were involved in a great photograph and memory sharing event, exploring the history of The Old Eagle pub in Camden, London.

The pub is well known in the area and we were afforded the wonderful opportunity to speak to regulars who have visited The Old Eagle regularly for at least 40 years. This provided some great insight into the pub’s past interior design and some of the characters who once ran the pub.

We really enjoyed the evening we spent there, listening to old stories and looking at old photographs. We even got the chance to catch Whiskey Mick and other session musicians during their weekly jam.

We’re running a similar event soon at The Queen’s Head. We’d love to see you there so come along, bring your friends and share some photographs and stories of a great pub. Anyone is welcome to join, so do get involved, even if it’s just because you’re interested in pub history.

Event details:

Date – Monday 23rd March 2015 7-9pm
Location – The Queen’s Head on 66 Acton Street, London
Contact Lise for more details of the event: lise.denbrok@historypin.org

Hope to see you there.

Launching Our New Panama-Pacific International Exposition Project

Aerial view of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition from the Aeroscope, pinned to our new project by the Anne T. Kent California Room at the Marin County Free Library.

On Saturday, February 21st, Kerri, Jon, and our new intern Krissia participated in a Community Day at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) and to launch our brand-new new project Mapping the PPIE. This world’s fair in the City By the Bay saw almost 19 million people visit over the course of its ten-month lifespan, all celebrating the resilience and rebuilding of a city destroyed in the famous 1906 earthquake and fire. Historypin is one of around 50 core partners helping our friends at the California Historical Society (CHS) celebrate this centennial, and together over the course of this year we will collaborate on many events and celebrations around the Bay Area.

A screenshot of the map within our new PPIE project, where users can pin photos accurately to their corresponding building/pavilion locations in 1915. Thus, while the Palace of Fine Arts remains the only building on the former grounds left (center), this project will help re-envision the area a century ago.

Mapping the PPIE on Historypin is a place for community partners and individuals with personal and archival collections to pin and curate memories and images of the fair. As an exciting feature, our team did some great work on geo-rectifying a map of the PPIE exposition grounds onto Google Maps, so that those who contribute to the project can do so with unprecedented accuracy and help those exploring the project get a sense of the size and scope of the 1915 event. We were able to share this new project on Historypin at Community Day-over 7,000 people showed up to the Palace of Fine Arts- and over the course of the day had fun talking and swapping PPIE stories with a steady stream of visitors.

Community Officer Kerri and new Historypin intern Krissia at the Historypin table at the PPIE Community Day, February 21st, 2015.

Evanna Lynn Dunlop, a 3rd generation San Franciscan, stopped by our table and shared her original 1915 postcard book from the fair passed down from her grandparents. We had fun talking about the massive changes the city has seen since then, and hope to help her pin these photos to our project.

The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on Community Day, lit as it was a century ago at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. Built for the fair, it is the only one remaining on the exposition grounds today.

We look forward to getting as much PPIE content into our project as possible over the course of the year, and bringing together your collections to recreate 1915. If you have any questions about the project or about contributing content, please contact Kerri at kerri.young@historypin.org. To see how you can explore the project, check out this video:

 

Europeana Tech 2015

Last week, the Historypin team united from as far as San Francisco, London and Sofia, Bulgaria to attend Europeana Tech 2015 conference at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France) in Paris.

The conference brought together a diverse range of people from application developers, technologists, researchers, designers, and cultural heritage professionals to share knowledge and work together to help shape the future of cultural content.

Check out the Euopeana Tech programme 2015 here and the tweet list here.

Discussions were interesting, varied, and delved into the current challenges of working with cultural content including discoverability, the importance of rich metadata and how this can be achieved through technical and crowdsourced modes, optimised web search, publicity and R&D. Reuse was another important strand to be discussed including the latest designs and ideas to facilitate reuse in a way which would prevent the separation of content from it’s metadata.

Historypin’s Jon Voss spoke about the critical role that open data and technology can play in creating social value and how cultural heritage can be harnessed to help build stronger communities. He shared some of the great local projects around the world using Historypin, from neighbourhood history projects to reminiscence sessions, and local story collecting.

We heard from some inspirational speakers including Seb Chan (Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum), Dan Cohen (DPLA), Andy Neale (DigitalNZ), George Oates (Good Form & Spectacle), Tim Sherratt (Trove), Dr Chris Welty (Google), James Morely (Europeana Foundation) and Jon Voss (Historypin).

Thank you to Europeana for organising an insightful and fascinating conference and to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France for hosting.

Do you have memories or photographs of the Magpie and Stump?

The real history of pubs like the Magpie and Stump lives with its people: previous and current landlords, detectives who come for a drink after a case at the Old Bailey, office workers who celebrate the arrival of the weekend and everyone else who has made some connection to the pub.

We’re working with local people to create a shared history of the Magpie and Stump and we need your help to add materials and memories. Everything gathered will be added to the digital archive Historypin.org, where it might even become part of a book about London community pubs.

Join us at the Magpie and Stump for an evening of sharing stories, seeing photos from the Magpie’s archive and hearing anecdotes from local pub historians.

Bring your friends, photos and best stories!

Wednesday 18 February 2015, 5pm – 8pm

Magpie and Stump, 18 Old Bailey, London EC4M 7EP

Explore and upload material online

Visit the Magpie and Stump’s Historypin project here to contribute to the digital archive

First World War Engagement Centres Meet Up

Last week, we joined a meet up of the five UK First World War Engagement Centres which took place in the beautiful setting of Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Selly Oak, Birmingham.

The Engagement Centres are based in clusters of Universities across the UK and are designed to be hubs to support local community groups running commemorative First World War projects and to work with them to build new collaborative research projects. Check them out here

Voices of War and Peace, Birmingham

Everyday Lives in War, Hertfordshire

Centre for Hidden Histories, Nottingham

Gateways to the First World War, Kent

Living Legacies 1914-18, Belfast

The Engagement Centres are connecting with many of the projects using the Historypin First World War hub and we are working with them to support online and offline collaboration.

Here are some great examples of what’s happening so far. From past events such as a FWW roadshow, a talk on the Christmas truce of 1914 and a 1930s film screening of ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ to future events such as ‘WW1 AND YOU’ – an interactive event to share stories and memorabilia and an exciting performance of ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ and much much more.

The meet up was a great opportunity to get together with everyone from the Centres, hear about the variety of activities so far and find out about what’s on the horizon. Keep an eye on Historypin and the Centres for more news.

Do you have memories or photographs of the Old Eagle?

The real history of pubs like the Old Eagle lives with its people: previous and current landlords, musicians who come for a jam, locals who enjoy a quiet drink on the weekend and everyone else who has made some connection to the pub.

We’re working with local people to create a shared history of the Old Eagle and we need your help to add materials and memories. Everything gathered will be added to the digital archive Historypin.org, where it might even become part of a book about London community pubs.

Join us at the Old Eagle for an evening of sharing stories, seeing archival photos and hearing anecdotes from local pub historians.

Bring your friends, photos and best stories!

Wednesday 25 February 2015, 5pm – 8pm

Old Eagle, 251 Royal College Street, London NW1 9LU

Explore and upload material online

Visit the Old Eagle’s Historypin project here to contribute to the digital archive.

Syracuse University Visits Historypin

On 18 November 2014, the class of ‘Digital Britain: Engaging the User’ from Syracuse University visited Historypin for a morning’s workshop. We were really happy to be able to share and discuss Historypin.org with a great group of enthusiastic digital communications students. Here is a guest blog post from lecturer Carol Nahra about the day.

As a London-based university lecturer hosting visiting American students, it can be difficult sometimes to plan field trips that get them into the heart of bustling London without sacrificing learning. Sometimes visits can be too superficial, and light on content. But keep them bound to the classroom and they might as well be back home in the U.S. The ideal study abroad experience is all about offering up quality opportunities to learn in their temporary city. I recently hit the jackpot by taking my students on a visit to Historypin. They were able to step directly into a central London workspace, whilst also taking part in a valuable workshop which was crucially two way in its information exchange.

The Syracuse University class I teach is called Digital Britain: Engaging the User, and is all about ways in which the British media and cultural industries are using the digital revolution to engage in creative ways. We’ve been to the Telegraph and the BBC, as well as the Science Museum and Wellcome Trust, examining and reviewing a range of interactive projects.

 

To prepare for our visit, Lise from Historypin developed a homework assignment that got the students signing up to Historypin and posting photos. They were told that their feedback about this process would go directly to the site’s developers – this knowledge spurred the students to give it more attention than they might otherwise have done!

In the workshop, after learning about Historypin and its objectives, and mission, Lise and her colleague Sophie engaged the students in a discussion in which they verbally gave feedback on their homework. These 20 year-old digital natives weren’t shy about sharing what they felt worked about the site and what could be improved, and I think their comments were appreciated by Lise and Sophie, particularly as their demographic is not overly represented on the site.

The students’ input was followed up with detailed bullet points, for example from one student who said: “I would personally feel more comfortable sharing stories and items if my profile was private and I could approve of the viewers.” Much of their feedback centered on how Historypin operates as a hybrid sharing site, and how best it can fit into a crowded social media landscape.

They also had the chance to role play some of Historypin’s very active users, and think through how such a site can enrich the lives of a range of people. In all it was a very engaging day, and one that I hope to repeat with the next batch of students!

Uncovering Mississippi’s Hidden History

The Biloxi Wade-ins, April 1960. Pinned by Elaine Marsh to Uncovering Mississippi's Hidden History.

Uncovering Mississippi’s Hidden History, one of our newest projects on Historypin, has been created by educators and is designed to help students, fellow educators, and the general public learn about and teach local Mississippi history. Largely focusing on (but not limited to) Civil Rights history, this project has been developed by Teaching for Change, a national non-profit organization that coordinates programs encouraging teachers, students, and parents to build a more equitable, multicultural society through education. We asked Julian Hipkins III, Curriculum Specialist and Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Project Director, and Deborah Menkart, Executive Director, to speak briefly about the driving forces behind Uncovering Mississippi:

What do you hope to achieve with this project, in a nutshell? Why is telling history from the bottom-up so important?

Mississippi has centuries of stories of oppression and resistance which could be used to introduce young people to a deep understanding of race, class, power, politics, civic engagement, the environment, economics, culture, and more in U.S. history. However, Mississippi history is too often presented to students as a series of names and dates about people who have no connection to their lives.

It is our hope that Historypin will encourage young people to research, document, and share the stories of the state’s untold history. In addition, by examining history from the bottom-up, students can understand that anyone can impact history. 

We were inspired to pursue the partnership with Historypin after hearing from young people about the power of uncovering their local history. Working with a local history project in McComb, Mississippi, students said:

 “I used to think my town was small and unimportant, now I’m proud of where I’m from,”

 “I learned I can make history by what I do in life,”

 “I feel more strongly about exercising my right to vote.”

Through the historypins, young people can recognize the powerful stories in their community and state history ­­and make history themselves. 

What is an example of the kinds of activities teachers and other educators will run over the platform?

Teachers and other educators will be using the website to engage their students in uncovering and documenting untold history. For example, during any period of history they are studying, students could document and pin local history examples (gravestones of soldiers during study of WWII; churches burned and/or schools integrated during study of the Civil Rights Movement; farms established during the New Deal; locations for protests during labor and the long Civil Rights Movement).

Teachers may also have students look for related sites throughout the state and connect with teachers, students, or classes to compare notes (or even compete!). 

These stories can be used by teachers and students to develop reading, writing, and critical thinking skills; civic engagement; and improve personal racial identity and race relations.

Teaching for Change will be working with teachers throughout Mississippi on the project. If you have questions about the project, please contact Kerri Young at Historypin or Julian Hipkins III at Teaching for Change.

The project page on Historypin.

You can start exploring the project and add your own content here.

Recap: Historypin’s Homefront 1945 Event with the US National Archives

Attendees enjoying the film program at our Homefront 1945 event on November 8, 2014.

We would like to present some scenes from our successful Homefront 1945 event at the Rio Theater in Northern California on November 8th, 2014, part of our collaboration with the US National Archives to help share and reuse their diverse audiovisual records of World War I and World War II.

This is designed to be a replicable event that you could do at your own theater or local history museum either with a Hollywood blockbuster like Fury or Unbroken, a classic movie, or your own content. The National Archives and Historypin can provide programming ideas and guidelines as well as copies of the historical films and posters you see here. If you’re interested, please contact Kerri Young for more information.

The special movie event let us share some of NARA’s special content with audiences in the San Francisco Bay Area. Fury, starring Brad Pitt as a tank commander nearing the dangerous final days of fighting in Germany during World War II, acted as the centerpiece to a full program of time-traveling back to WWII, held at the 1940’s Quonset hut Rio Theater and Cafe.

The evening featured digitally restored WWII NARA films, including The True Glory, in the background during a vintage dinner that featured modern takes on wartime foods. Attendees from all over the Bay Area spent about an hour listening to and sharing stories of what it was like in the area during those days. In-between stories, Historypin’s Jon Voss helped to raffle-off reproductions of vintage posters and DVDs from NARA, and Fury posters from Sony Entertainment. Before the film screening itself, the modern movie trailers were replaced with a cartoon, featurette and newly-digitized newsreels from April 1945 that would have been played in theaters at that time, all from the holdings of the National Archives.

The Rio Theater where we held our event, a few hours north of San Francisco.

Specially-designed posters for our event, posted over an official Fury poster.

Enjoying a modern take on wartime foods with a special menu from the Theater.

Hearing stories of what the homefront in Bay was like during World War II.

Raffling-off wartime-era posters from NARA's archives. Raffle tickets were included in reproductions of ration booklets from WWII, which each attendee received.

This event was hopefully the first of many in the kind of experiential learning we want to engage audiences with for our wartime films campaign, and provided just a small sampling of the audiovisual materials from World War I and World War II that we hope to connect with as wide an audience as possible.

On behalf of the National Archives and Historypin, we’d like to thank the California Historical Society for their co-promotions and the Russian River Historical Society for connecting us with an amazing lineup of storytellers who shared their history on the river, from fighter jet fly-unders of the Guerneville bridge to stories of the Japanese American residents of area before and after their forced imprisonment.