The First World War Centenary on Historypin

A home for local community First World War projects

Today we’re excited to launch the First World War Centenary hub on Historypin, a home for local community groups running First World War commemorative activities. We’re launching with some great projects from here in the United Kingdom, but this is a tool for all of your First World War remembrances from around the world.

At the core of the hub is a new set of collaborative tools that enable any group or organisation to set up your own project, add collaborators, upload materials and invite others to pin photos, videos and audio to this shared space.

If you’re running a local heritage project about the First World War, we’d love to have you on the hub! You can create your project here – just select “Add Project” and you’re on your way.

The hub has been created in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund who are funding thousands of projects across the UK to research, understand and commemorate the war in new and creative ways.

Hundreds of groups and organisations have already shared their activities and the hub is already showing a diverse picture of centenary activities. Take a look at some of the fantastic projects involved so far:

Explore the hub to see what’s happening near you and get involved!

As the Centenary unfolds, the number and scale of commemorative activities will grow. The First World War Centenary area on Historypin will do the same, evolving to best support, increase and sustain local collaborative activity which brings people together to access, share and create collective histories.

If you would like to work with us on centenary activities, we’d love to hear from you — just drop us a line at hello@historypin.org.

The First World War Centenary hub has been created in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund with the support of the Imperial War Museums, Arts and Humanities Research Council and JISC.

Becontree mural launch!

Have you drunk at The Merry Fiddler? Saved the day at Ley’s swimming pool? Or perhaps dived straight in at Dagenham Town Show?

Becontree’s colourful history will soon to be bought to life with the launch of a new mural at Valence House Museum & Visitor Centre. Artist Chad McCail has painted a 100 year history of the Becontree Estate, inspired by the photos, memories and stories shared by local people as part of This Used to be Fields. Everyone is invited to join the free launch celebration.

 

Venue: Valence House Museum & Visitor Centre, Dagenham, Essex, RM8 3HT

Date: Saturday 25th October

Time: 2pm-5pm

Free & un-ticketed (just turn up)

 

Chad McCail and Create will be there to introduce the mural, and Historypin will be on hand sharing our favourite local photos, films and stories in our ‘Becontree Memory Box’. The This Used to be Fields archive is yours to explore and contribute to, so dig around in your attics, dust off those old photo albums, and bring along your Becontree images to be shown, scanned, and shared.

You’ll be able to share them in comfort with friends and family too, as they’ll be free tea, coffee and cake provided, as well as some specially created arts activities for children from Scribble & Smudge

This Used to be Fields is a collaborative project delivered by Historypin and Create. The project has been commissioned by the Barbican, with funding from the Arts Council of England and additional support from Creative Barking and Dagenham.

Historypin, the US National Archives, and Fury

Today is the US opening day for the movie Fury, starring Brad Pitt as a tank commander nearing the dangerous final days of fighting in Germany during World War II.  As part of our work with the US National Archives, we’ve had an incredible glimpse into the war both at home and abroad, with newly digitized newsreel clips from April 1945.  Criss Kovac, supervisor of the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab (who happened to get a sneak peak of the film at the Fury premiere in DC this week–jealous!) gives great context to the film in this post along with the just-released newsreels and amazing gif images.  The Fury team has also put together a digital discussion guide you can download which adds further context (and thanks for the Historypin shoutout!)

We’ve started to work on geolocating some of these NARA newsreel clips on Historypin, as you can see below with footage of the first gathering of the United Nations in San Francisco on April 25, 1945. You can almost hear the word’s of President Truman echoing through the Herbst Theater today, “If we do not want to die together in war, we must learn to live together in peace.”

We’ll be releasing more details soon, but we’re teaming up with the Rio Theater and Cafe in Monte Rio, California November 8th, 2014 for a special Veteran’s Day screening of Fury. The special dinner and a movie experiential event, Homefront 1945, will let the historic Quonset hut theater us back in time to experience the sounds, tastes and stories of our country at war and hear from residents, veterans, and historians about what life in California, and on the front, was like in April 1945.

rio-yard-green.jpg

The night will feature swing music from the 1940’s, a modern take on vintage foods, actual newsreels from April 1945, and a diverse roundtable of experts and first hand accounts of life on the homefront and the front lines.  You’ll be able to share your own personal or family stories on Historypin as well, and we’ll have on display and will be raffling off reproductions of maps, war bonds posters, and digitally restored films from the National Archives collection, as well as official Fury posters.

Do you have family photos or memories to share about World War II?  You can add them to Historypin now! Interested in hosting a film and memory sharing event like this yourself? Let us know in the comments or drop a line to Jon Voss, Strategic Partnership Director at Historypin.

Suffolk University Offers Free Online History of Boston Class Utilizing Historypin

Registration is now open for Suffolk University’s first free online course, The History of Boston. The course will engage Bostonians, tourists, history buffs and students worldwide with the Boston events and people that brought the spark of democracy to the world. The course is available beginning Oct. 20, 2014 and is free and open to the general public.

The course explores Boston from the 1600’s to the present day. Learn about the Massachusett Indians who lived there before the Puritans arrived. Discover how these settlers created a system of self government so strong that Boston became the most democratic community on the planet and the birthplace of the American Revolutionary War. Trace the city’s role in the American anti-slavery movement and the Civil War.

The course includes a virtual tour of Boston, featuring many of the city’s best known landmarks and sites like the Freedom Trail, USS Constitution, State House, Harbor Islands, Waterworks Museum, Lowell Mills, Old North Church, Kings Chapel, Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, the Esplanade, African Meeting House and more. It also features interviews with many of Boston’s most fascinating activists, artists, scholars and politicians that provide perspective on Boston’s influence on culture and politics.

“There’s no reason that learning can’t be fun, and we created an interactive, fact-filled course that will attract a wide range of people – from out-of-town students beginning their studies in Boston, to tourists visiting the city, and to business people coming into town for conferences and meetings,” said David Kusek of Digital Cowboys, who produced the online course for Suffolk University.

Registration: https://www.canvas.net/courses/history-of-boston

Detailed course information: http://historyofboston.org/

New Project: The Wartime Films with the US National Archives

Our visit exploring the US National Archives' film preservation lab, whose team we will be working with over the coming months.

We are very excited to announce a new partnership that we’ll be embarking upon with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), based in Maryland and Washington D.C. The Archives preserve and provide access to the U.S. Government’s collection of documents recording the important events in American history, with their archival holdings numbering more than 10 billion pages of unique documents.

Specifically, we’ll be inviting the public to participate, collaborate, and engage with the archives’ extensive collection of both World War I and World War II moving images. Taking advantage of the public domain status of this newly digitized and expertly preserved content, we’ll encourage the widest possible distribution and discovery of this wartime media across a variety of community networks, as well as existing networks of NARA and Historypin.

War Department film made during WWII detailing the importance of film for training, morale, and entertainment purposes. This is just an example of the vast war film holdings at NARA, accessed on their YouTube Channel.

Context is key, and we will work closely with NARA specialists to show the many sides of the American and international experience of both global conflicts, as well as stories from the homefront. Across Historypin and other interactive platforms, our overall aim is to build a wide-reaching and engaged community around this rich content, while aiding in NARA’s continued mission to provide free and open access to America’s cultural heritage.

Over the past few months, we have worked on identifying key target audiences that have engaged with NARA content or might find it valuable, as well as those with plans to run commemoration events around upcoming WWI and WWII anniversaries. This is the first step on our journey to help more people access NARA’s vast and valuable holdings.

Everyone loves a good open access metaphor: Me trying to gain access to the National Archives building in Washington D.C. through the original main entrance, June 2014.

Memories of Migration Project to launch in 2015

We’re excited to announce that Historypin has teamed up with the Santa Ana Public Library to launch the Memories of Migration project, with support from the Institute for Museum and Library Services through the award of a $495,000 National Leadership Grant.

The three year project will be led by the Santa Ana Public Library and provide innovative programs for teens to focus on community memory and the many diverse stories of human migration over time.  The project builds on their successful Teen Historian program, which combines web and new media training with storytelling.

Teen Historians at Santa Ana Public Library recording interviews of Mexican American veterans.

Memories of Migration compliments and celebrates the vital role that libraries play in the lives of new immigrant families and will serve public libraries with meaningful programs and enrichment activities that meet the following goals:

  • provide new immigrant communities a participatory voice in library collections and events
  • increase digital literacy and provide learning in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) to new immigrant teens and young adults through digital training in new media and digitization technologies
  • strengthen libraries as anchors of intergenerational and intercultural dialogue on both a local and national level.

Techniques developed by the Santa Ana Public Library will be tested and enhanced in model programs operated by four partner libraries and agencies that serve new immigrant communities across the country.  Queens Library (Queens, NY), West Hartford Public Library, (West Hartford, CT), the State of New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and New Mexico Highlands University (Las Vegas, NM) have also developed innovative youth engagement and public memory projects and will join our team to develop and expand the program, addressing the needs of their diverse communities in a mixture of urban, suburban and rural settings.

An additional partner in the progam, Project GADO, will provide teens training in the use of scanning robots that will facilitate the digitization of the histories, while another, Orange County Reforma, will organize a local conference on Latino history to kick off the information collection process.

The Memories of Migration public launch is scheduled for the summer of 2015.  For further information about the project, please contact Jon Voss, Strategic Partnership Director at Historypin, or Cheryl Eberly, Principal Librarian, Young Adult Services at Santa Ana Public Library.

Tagging Embeds: The Manhattan Project

One of the things I’m realizing we need to do more of is use the blog to highlight the many different ways people are using Historypin to highlight their work, research and community engagement. I don’t think a lot of people know that you can embed your Historypin content into other sites, highlighting your content with the full functionality of your Historypin Profile, and embedded with a simple code snippet (which you can see in your settings on the top right, “link with my sites,” when you’re logged into your Historypin account, see image inline).  So if you already have a website with lots of mappable content about the history of a local community for instance, you can share it on Historypin and enhance your own website to boot!

While it was released over a year ago, I think this is a great example of an embed employed by a website examining some of the stories surrounding the Manhattan Project:

 How much does it cost for this incredible service, you ask?  Nothing.  It’s free, and part of what we provide as part of our mission to help build community around local history.  Let us know if you have questions about it in the comments below, or join our Google Group to discuss it with other community leaders.

Local libraries commemorate the First World War with their communities

We’re honoured to be hosting The Digital War Memorial on Historypin, an initiative to bring together libraries, communities and artists to create unique artistic responses to the First World War.

Ten libraries around the country have been working with members of their communities to explore the rich and diverse First World War historical materials in their collections, including photographs, letters and newspaper articles. Community groups then worked with local artists using poetry, dance, music, writing and visual arts to reflect on the impact of the First World War and how it resonates a century later.

All the historical materials, contemporary media and creative films and recordings made have been added to the Digital War Memorial on Historypin where they can be explored and further added to.

Face to face connections and live performances were foundational pillars of these projects, offering powerful ways for people to connect with their libraries and each other. But the complementary use of digital technologies offered innovative ways for the collaborations to be captured and curated, creating additional ways for people to participate and experience the projects.

In The Digital Scrapbook Leeds Library digitised an archival gem, a scrapbook created by a matron at Gledhow Hall, a country home transformed into a hospital during the war. The scrapbook is a treasure trove of photos, clippings, examples of craftwork made by the recovering soldiers. Through a series of workshops they opened this scrapbook to local writers and craft groups who created new material inspired by the Matron’s collection.

Students, song writers, musicians and choirs came together in Lest We Forget writing and performing poetry and songs inspired by research into local First World War stories and using digital tools such as SoundCloud to collaborate on the final audio recordings.

Over in Lancashire where students were exploring the theme of conscientious objectors, one of the final pieces was a powerful recreation of a tribunal hearing, based on the original transcript.

Visit the Digital War Memorial to explore these projects and all the others around the country.

The Digital War Memorial is run by the Society of Chief Librarians, with support from the British Library and funding from the National Lottery supported Grants for the arts: Libraries fun through Arts Council England.  Read more about the project here.

 

Becontree Mural Day

Saturday 25 October, 2-5pm
Address: Valence House Lawns, Becontree Avenue, Dagenham, RM8 3HTTo mark the completion of Chad McCail’s new mural inspired by life on the Becontree Estate we are delighted to invite you to a launch event at Valence House Museum & Archives. Please join us for an afternoon of free activities to celebrate this new work of public art.

Free drop-in activities include:

  • Family art workshops – Join Scribble and Smudge to create a model of the Becontree Estate
  • Historypin’s Becontree Memory Box – Join Historypin to enjoy local films, photos and stories
  • Meet the artist  – Chat about Becontree’s new mural with artist Chad McCail
Plus we will be offering free tea and cakes to all guests. We hope to see you there!

Chad McCail’s new mural is part of the This Used to be Fields, a new digital archive of photos and stories from the people of Becontree.

This Used to be Fields is a collaborative project delivered by Historypin and Create. The project has been commissioned by the Barbican, with funding from the Arts Council of England and additional support from Creative Barking and Dagenham.

This Used to be Fields: Help tell the history of the Becontree Estate

Built in the 1920s to house the growing population of East London and soldiers returning from the First World War, the Becontree Estate was the largest housing estate in Europe. The creation of the Estate transformed the countryside east of London from fields into homes for 100,000 people.

We’re inviting everyone who has lived, worked or passed through Becontree to share their photos and memories to create a shared history of the Estate. Explore what’s been added so far.

Have you got photos or stories about Becontree? Add them here!

Do you live in Becontree? Come along with your photos and memories to have them digitised and added to the archive.

Valence House Visitor Centre, Becontree Avenue
Tuesday 19 August 2 – 6pm
Tuesday 26 August 2 – 4pm
Tuesday 16 September 5 – 6pm

Kingsley Hall, Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham
Wednesday 13 August 6.30 – 8pm
Thursday 14 August 10.30 –11.30am

Dagenham Trades Hall, Charlotte Rd, Dagenham
Wednesday 13 August 2 – 4pm

A new mural at Valence House

The history, stories and photographs of Becontree will inspire a new mural at Valence House painted by artist Chad McCail.

Come and meet Chad

Drop in on Chad at his artist studio at Valence House to share your stories of the local area, show him your photos and chat about the mural.

Tuesday 12, Wednesday 13, Thursday 14 and Friday 15 August 12.30- 1.30pm
Saturday 16 August 10am – 4pm
Saturday 23 August 10am – 4pm

Come and see the mural being painted

Chad will be painting the mural with the help of local volunteers. Come along to see them in action, have a chat about the project and enjoy Valence House Museum & Archives.

Saturday 13th September 12 – 4pm
Saturday 20th September 12 – 4pm