Carol Summerfield, March 18, 2014
What is at the intersection of images, personal stories, and a spot on a map? If you are Nick Stanhope, you believe it is a connection point for people of different eras. The founder of History Pin believes that the power of that intersection of historical content, pictures, films, audio recordings, and personal stories are conversation pieces across the generations.
The University of Nebraska?s Special Collections is on board. They have engaged with History Pin to house select archives of images, which people are invited to comment on, add to, and enrich what we know about each image, each point on the map, each person photographed.
The collections are as diverse as a tornado from 1919, Johnny Carson at the University of Nebraska?s Homecoming in 1971, and women archers from 1952. What makes this particular online archiving system so special is that you can find images based on a timeline, a map, or by subject matter. Slide the timeline scale and you can see what images are in the archives, from 1840 to 2014. If you want to see images from Pioneers Park Nature Center, click on that spot on the map. There are six images right now at the Park, but the goal is to keep the content coming.
When multiple images exist for a building, the site allows you to fade back and forth between them, so you can see how the space has changed over time. As the site is developed, there will be more ability to move on the same map point and see the transitions over time.
As more images are added and more comments are contributed, the archive shifts from being a static collection of photos to a virtual public history presentation, ever changing and evolving, with a rich narrative built around place, people, and time.
To check out the University of Nebraska collections, go to http://www.historypin.com/channels/view/35167#!collections/all/
Here is a brief video of Nick Stanhope talking about why he launched the site: