Project Details

A collage of history photos pinned to a white background.


Creating communities around history.

By Shift

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @Historypin

  • Community Engagement
  • Education
  • Data
  • Geolocation
  • Mobile
  • Social Software

In 1948, Bill Pleister ran proudly through the thronged streets of the Hampshire market town of Basingstoke carrying the Olympic torch on its way to London for the games. Sixty-four years later, Bill’s son Steve took a picture of Oliver Leonard carrying the torch, on the same spot as it made the same journey. Steve then posted both photographs, with a short commentary comparing them, on a site called Historypin, to add his account of the two events.

Steve is just one of more than 50,000 people around the world who have added material to Historypin, building from the bottom up, a global map of everyday history. Thousands of people, for example, have contributed photographs of their grandparents. Partly through an alliance with 1,341 archives and museums, more than 275,737 materials and memories have been uploaded, tagged and organised. One set of images of 19th century mansions on Manhattan’s Upper East Side allows a visitor to take a virtual tour comparing old New York with the city of today.

Historypin is also allowing people to record history as it happens. Hundreds of people have used the site to record the destruction and recovery of communities hit by Hurricane Sandy. There is an entire set of images of Japanese rockers in Toyko’s Harajuku park on a recent Sunday morning.

Historypin is giving people everywhere a voice in making history as it relates to them and helping to create communities around shared history.

Image courtesy of Historypin

Last updated: 09th of May, 2014

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