The National Archives has joined Historypin. I’ve written a few times about Historypin, an online tool that allows people to view and share history through Google Maps and Google Street View technology. The site is produced by We Are What We Do, in partnership with Google. The goal is to become the largest user-generated archive of the world’s historical images and stories.
The Historypin platform enables content owners to upload historical photographs, videos and audio recordings to Google maps, where they are then geo-tagged and dated. Users are encouraged to add descriptive information and personal narratives to these items, helping to tell the story of how familiar environments have changed over time. This content can be compiled into topical, chronological or geographic collections as well as tours that let users virtually explore a place, time or storyline. Historypin is accessible via its full website or on the go with its smartphone app.
The National Archives on Historypin launches with a selection of Mathew Brady Civil War photographs; images from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Documerica photographic documentation project of the 1970s; photographs of streets, buildings, and historic events in Washington, DC; and images used in the recent History Happens Here augmented reality contest. Future monthly updates will include Documerica, Mathew Brady, and Brooklyn Navy Yard collections among others.
The National Archives is the first U.S. Federal Executive Branch agency to partner with Historypin and joins the New York Public Library, Library of Congress, and over 100 archives, libraries and museums in the United States and Europe in reaching a new locally minded and globally active community.