Historypin’s global community of people, groups and institutions gather and share the history of the places that matter to them, using collections of photographs, documents, sounds and moving images to start conversations and trigger memories.
I can’t believe I’ve met someone who’s met Elvis Presley and also carried Winston Churchill’s coffin. It’s made me want to ask my family to dig out all their old photos so I can share them with others via Historypin.
Tommy Underwood, age 13, student
Created with initial support from Google in 2011, Historypin consists of a web platform and a series of local volunteer led community projects that together increase local social capital and reduce social isolation.
Historypin projects are run by local volunteers who digitise photos, collect stories and record oral histories, mapping and sharing this content using Historypin.org. To date, 60,000 citizen historians and 2,000 libraries, archives and museums have run thousands of local projects and shared over 380,000 materials and memories, which are explored by hundreds of thousands of users through the website and mobile applications.
Two of Historypin’s largest community archiving projects have been independently evaluated, showing measurable impact on local social capital and social isolation. An evaluation of Pinning Reading’s History showed that:
Historypin is very much focused on community engagement using imagery to get people connecting through stories and locations. It made sense to The Brooklyn Museum to release our collection of images in a way that would enable and foster this dialogue.
Shelley Bernstein, Brooklyn Museum
- Historypin effectively engages older audiences (27% of participants were between 50 and 65 and 25% were over 65)
- Local archiving provides an enjoyable and deeply engaging activity, giving participants a sense that their histories are valued
- Participation leads to the development of new relationships (70% of participants had met new people through the project)
- Participation drives engagement in other local activities (38% participants became more involved in community activities after participating in the project)
From Crowdsourcing to Knowledge Communities: Creating Meaningful Scholarship Through Digital Collaboration
April 2, 2015
In this paper, we share some of the findings of our Mellon-funded crowdsourcing research with Stanford University, with a focus on tools we found helpful in the process of identification, outreach, and collaboration with knowledge communities.
March 3, 2015
In the last couple of years, we’ve seen Historypin used to connect generations in Japan, to draw in rich life stories in Australia and even to inspire a mural in East London. These sorts of projects are at the core of our mission to build better local social connections through a shared sense of place and history.
Each case study gives you a brief glimpse of the people behind these projects and what they’ve achieved.
November 1, 2013
Early research on a proposed project to combine citizen science techniques and photo gathering to examine and monitor the aging and deterioration of objects of cultural heritage. Published in Built Heritage 2013 Monitoring Conservation Management.
April 2, 2012
Article on the community evolving around Linked Open Data in libraries, archives and museums.
April 1, 2012
This paper examines how a cultural, technological, and legal environment is enabling a growing ecosystem of open historical data. Published on Museums and the Web.
March 24, 2012
Analysis of the social impact of Pinning Reading’s History, a project in Reading, UK, with data and analysis from the London Government Information Unit (LGiU).
March 23, 2012
Depiction of the social impact of Pinning Reading’s History, a project in Reading, UK, with data and analysis from the London Government Information Unit (LGiU).
Tori Flower & Kate Ferrier
New Mural in Beacontree
Creative Review, 28th October 2014
Former teacher pins hopes for images of Frome history online
Frome Standard, 21st August 2014
Peoria Historical Society Uses Innovative Archives to Show Area’s History
CBS 31 News, 27th July 2014
Historypin app: Opening up local history to the public’s favourite mobile device
London Community News, 11th March 2013
Web Sites With a Historical Bent Join a Place to an Image
New York Times, 5th September 2012
Mapping Reading’s past with Historypin
Get Reading, 21st September 2012
Bringing social capital back to life
The Times, 31st March 2012
Q and A with Nick Stanhope, Creator of Historypin
Smithsonian Magazine, 10th August 2011
Historypin Launches, Shows Your World As It Was
Mashable, 12th July 2011
“Old Meets New: ‘Historypin’ Is a Map-Based Time Capsule for Vintage Photos”
Time Techland, 11th July 2011
Our ghosts in the machine
Sunday Times, 18th July 2010
“Picture the Past: Historypin Mashes Up Archived Photos with the Present”
Good, 15th July 2011
Local history buffs have a new toy
Washington Post, 7th July 2011
Photography has entered the fourth dimension. And I’m going with it
The Guardian, 4th July 2010
Best Nonprofit/charity website, 2012
The Social Tech Guide: The World’s Most Inspiring Social Innovations Using Digital Technology
Sunday Times App List 2012
Award for Best Education & Reference Website, 2012
Winner of the inaugural History Today Digital History Award, 2014
AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, 2014