About Rebekkah

Rebekkah Abraham is the Historypin Operations Director.

Farewell to Wilma

We are very sad to say good bye to our lovely intern Wilma who has been brilliant and a huge help with our pinning needs over the last few months. Thanks Wilma!

Name: Wilma Stefani

Role: Historypin Intern

Why did you want to intern at Historypin?
As an archaeologist and videographer, I am interested in exploring ways of communicating historical themes to the general public, and I discovered Historypin during my MA in Digital Humanities: I thought this project was brilliant in giving people the opportunity to share their pictures and stories online, and I was interested in how they were using social media to achieve that.

How did you come to hear of the project?
My supervisor at King’s College. Dr. Stuart Dunn, suggested me to apply for an internship at Historypin, as it could be interesting as a case study for my dissertation, which aims at analysing users’ comments and responses to historical themes shared in online platforms.

Describe an average day for you as a Historypin Intern
Beside general tasks such as choosing the Pin of the Day and helping in organising images and videos uploaded by users, most of the time I was following a particular project, Putting Art on the Map, a project which invites the public to solve mysteries about the collection of paintings held at the Imperial War Museum. I’ve been creating some of the mysteries and collating and publishing the answers provided by the participants to the live events organised by Rebekkah and Alex, as well as keeping at the same time track of the content posted through social media.
What do you do when you’re not at Historypin?
I love Art in all its forms…films, music, dance, figurative arts, and London offers so much in terms of cultural events. When I have a day off I like visiting museums and going to the theatre.

What’s been your best moment here?
I had the opportunity to take part in a live event at the Gordon Museum, where some medical professionals provided information about a selection of IWM paintings with a medical subject. I was amazed by the engagement of the participants, they analysed the paintings discussing in group and they came out with some great responses.

What is the oddest job you’ve been asked to do in the name of Historypin?
Nothing really odd, but I may have developed new deciphering skills, as while transcribing the comments written by participants to the live events, I was trying to understand the sometime illegible calligraphy of some of them…!

What excites you the most about Historypin?
I think that the opportunity to pin the photos on the Street View is an excellent idea, visually intriguing and fun to do.

Can you show us a photo you have personally pinned on Historypin?
Not a photo but a painting, ”Con: Camp’ – Genoa’ by Olive Mudie-Cooke, from the IWM collection. It was exciting to discover that this corner of Genoa has barely changed since 1919: and also to find so many paintings depicting Italian landscapes, including some near my hometown, in the north of Italy. Now I’ll have to go to see them at the museum!

"'Con: Camp' - Genoa' by Olive Mudie-Cooke, shared by IWM

What’s your favourite photo that has been pinned to the Historypin map and why?I chose this photo as Pin of The Day, and I love it because I think it shows so well the contrasts and liveness of London, in the 60s as well as nowadays.

Carnaby Street, 1960, shared by robertloch

What kind of content would you like to see more of on Historypin?
I would be very happy to see more videos uploaded, especially black and white footage from the old days.

Why do you think people should add their photos and stories to Historypin?
I think one can see the intersection between family and national stories as something we all have in common as human beings and citizens. Historypin offers an online space where anyone can participate, making them appreciate the history and culture of the place where they live.

What do you think the future of Historypin is?
It would be great to see the project developing also in new countries: I think Historypin has a great potential in connecting people from different generations and backgrounds, and can also be increasingly used in schools to engage students with their past.

Contact:  wilmastefani.wordpress.com


Remembering the Baa-Baas

Nick Stanhope, Tigers fan since the 1980s chats with Peter Reeves, a fan since the 1940s

Last week the Historypin Team was in Leicester with Soft Touch Arts and the University of Leicester collecting sporting memories from Leicester Tigers fans. We ran a drop in event, inviting fans to come bring in their memorabilia and share their memories about the annual rugby match between the Tigers and the Barbarians.

Before the event we’d already had some fun memories shared on Facebook, including the identification of Pete Curtis, famous for getting drunk and climbing things from cross bars to lamposts – anyone remember him? The hunt is still on for a photo of one of his escapades.

We also found out the story behind this image:

Fans at the Barbarians Game, Dec 1988 (Image courtesy of Leicester Mercury at the University of Leicester)

Word of mouth spread the photo through a chain of Tigers fans and reunited this photo to with the gentleman depicted, Bob Nicholas, who was able to shed light on the ridiculous hats:

A friend has sent me the link to the Tigers website and the Leicester Mercury photo of my family at the match in the 1980’s.  I no longer live in UK but have very fond memories of the matches during the latter part of the amateur era.  The photo was probably from 1987 and came about because, in those days, if you dressed up in something extraordinary there was every chance the press would record it for posterity!  I wore a “Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer” hat and my children wore Moosehats I had found on a trip to the USA.  The policeman who was patrolling the touchline before kick-off stopped as he passed us by and I asked him if, as it was Christmas, he wanted to swap his party hat for mine.  His response was “I’m not sure which one of us would look more stupid, Sir” and just at that moment a photographer took the picture. 

My theory of getting press coverage did work.  Rugby Special showed recorded highlights of the match and panned onto us in the crowd.  On another occasion we were interviewed by Jonathan Agnew who had recently joined Radio Leicester, just because we were wearing the hats, and after the match he broadcast that it was his first visit to a BaaBaas match and the first time he’d met Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer.  I’ve dined out on the story a few times, but still miss the sheer joy of watching two sides playing for the pure love of the game. 

It was definitely worth waiting in the queue for the gates to open in order to get a good position in the front of the Enclosure – all before season tickets were introduced.

At the event we were joined by people from across the Tiger family, including fans, retired players, the club historian, ex-captains and volunteers who had run the catering. They brought in a wealth of memorabilia – ticket stubs, newspaper articles, programmes and even a sock signed by David Campese!

Sock signed by Barbarians player David Campese, brought in by Angela Murphy who volunteered with the catering dept at Welford Rd (Image courtesy of LFC)

Rob Ross also brought in his impressive collection of Tigers vs Barbarian programmes which included every one since World War Two and one from 1910:

Tigers vs Barbarians Programme, 1910 shared by Rob Ross (Image courtesy of LFC)

And as luck would have it, Mike Harrison, Tigers player from 1962-1971 and captain from 1964, was on hand to sign the 1964 programme.

Mike Harrison, retired Tigers captain, signs Rob Cross' programme

You can listen here to Mike speaking about how special the annual Barbarians game was and the unique atmosphere of the ground and watch here to see former Tigers player and match commentator Bleddyn Jones speak about how he joined the Tigers team after casually joining their training one evening.

It was a great event with loads of materials and memories shared and some great stories unearthed. You can see everything that was gathered, alongside 100s of photos from the Leicester Mercury newspaper archive here. And if you’d like to know more about our work with Leicester Tigers, or have materials and memories to share, email historypin@wearewhatwedo.org.

Programme Tigers vs Barbarians 1960 (Image courtesy of LFC)

Remembering the Baa-Baas Games

Fans at the Barbarians Game, Dec 1988 (Image courtesy of Leicester Mercury at the University of Leicester)

Are you a Tigers fan with memories, photos, films and memorabilia of the annual Barbarians game? Did you go to the game every year with your family? Or work at Welford Road when it was played?

We need your help!

We are creating a digital time capsule of the Tigers vs Barbarians games and want to gather as many recollections and materials as possible. Come along to our workshops, where you can:

  • Explore the history of the Baa Baas game with other Tigers fans

  • See historical photos from the Leicester Mercury archive and help enrich them with stories and information

  • Bring your photos, films and memorabilia to be recorded, digitised and added to the time capsule

We are running three casual drop-in workshops – pop into whichever one you can make for however long you can stay.

Date: Tuesday 18th March 2014

Times:  12pm – 2pm; 4pm – 6pm; 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Location: Soft Touch Arts Centre, 50 New Walk, Leicester LE1 6TF

Refreshments will be provided.

If you have your own personal collection of photos, films or memorabilia about the Baa Baas, do bring it along to share.

If you have any queries, please email historypin@wearewhatwedo.org.

The pilot project has been delivered through the Collaborative Arts Triple Helix Project, a research project by the University of Birmingham in partnership with University of Leicester. The Collaborative Arts Triple Helix Project has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as pat of their Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange programme.

Putting Art on the Map gets competitive

Deep focus as everyone strives to be the lead mystery-solver

On 26th February 2014 Putting Art on the Map got competitive, setting a group of UCL Digital Humanities the task of solving as many mysteries as possible in an hour. The blog below is a guest post by WiIma Stefani, Historypin intern and Digital Humanities student at King’s College London who has been helping out with our Putting Art on the Map Live Events.

We were hosted by Simon Mahony, Senior Teaching Fellow in Digital Humanities at the Centre for Digital Humanities at UCL, in the UCL computer lab. 10 students joined us and we challenged them to solve as many mysteries as possible – despite a fire drill interrupting things, in just half an hour we had 50 solved!

We had an international group and many students found paintings showing cities of their home country and were able to identify the locations. The competition got everyone motivated and there was some speedy re-pinning, with Starvi Ioannidou solving 7 mysteries and Christina solving 8. But the winner was cy3__ who solved an amazingly impressive 17!

The students showed their research skills by accurately pinning the location of the chosen painting, using Google, and in particular Google Maps; for many of the mysteries the title of the painting was the main clue, specifying the location of the scene depicted; but some of them were more tricky, such as in the case of Kephalos Bay, depicted in this painting by Herbert Hillier, and nowadays known as Kefalos Plaji, as a Greek student explained.

The same person proposed more specific dates about the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917, depicted in this artwork by William T Wood, as she had the opportunity to study this event in detail while studying at Thessaloniki’s University.

Sadly the evening had to end but many of the students continued to solve mysteries over the following days. You can do the same by visiting Putting Art on the Map, and following the project on IWM’s Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages.

A big thank you to UCL for hosting us, and Simon and all the students for making it happen: see you on Historypin!

We’re hiring!

Digging into local history in the pub with locals and staff from the Museum of English Rural life in Bucklebury ,Wiltshire, UK.

We’re excited to announce that we’re recruiting a new Project Officer for the Historypin Team based at our London HQ:

Over the next two years we will be running the community engagement programme for Ambrosia, a European-wide project to bring communities together to discover, share and explore their food & drink heritage.

We’re looking for someone to support our team to deliver this programme. If you’re experienced with community engagement, passionate about working with local communities and familiar with working with cultural heritage organisations, read more about the role and apply here:


Queens: Neighborhood Stories

Celebrations Marking the Opening of the Bayside Branch of the QBPL on May 15, 1935. (Image from Queens Library)

We’re excited to launch our latest project, Queens: Neighborhood Stories, in partnership with Queens Library and with support from Metropolitan New York Library Council.  

Queens, NYC is the most diverse county in the U.S., with many different cultures and many different neighborhoods. We want to capture this rich tapestry and are inviting everyone in Queens to share photos, video clips, audio recordings, stories and memories to tell the unique histories of their neighborhoods.

Queens Library will be supporting libraries and local organizations to run community activities in their own neighborhoods, from scanning family photos to solving photo mysteries. Kicking off our community activities we have:

How can you get involved?

Grace DeSagun and Dacia Metes from Queens Library work with Broad Channel resident Pat Rosendale to identify the people and places in the historic photos she brought to a Community History Night held at the Queens Library at Broad Channel (Image from Queens Library)

Share material from your collections
If you’ve got personal or institutional collections, visit www.historypin.com/neighborhoodstories to add photos, videos, audio clips and stories to the map.

Gather photos and stories from your community – Run a session with your community to collect local photos and stories to add to the communal archive. Download our free resource pack which has ideas to get started with and materials to use.

Solve photo mysteries with your community – Run a session with your community to help identify the places, people and events depicted in photographs that lack contextual information. Download our free resource pack which has ideas to get started with and materials to use.

Explore the project
Lots of material has been shared already, so visit www.historypin.com/neighborhoodstories to dive in and add your stories and memories to what’s been pinned.

If you are interested in running activities in your neighborhood and would like more information, email Natalie Milbrodt (Director Queens Memory Project, Queens Library) on Natalie.Milbrodt@queenslibrary.org

Crowdsourcing the Home Front at Yorkshire Museum

Taking cover in a Tube Station during a London air raid, Walter Bayes, 1918

Are you interested in the Home Front during the First World War?

Imperial War Museums has a collection of fantastic artworks depicting Home Front
activities and we need your help to find out more about them.

Join history buffs, curators and art historians at Yorkshire Museum where we will be exploring, discussing and digging into some of these fascinating works. Through discussion and research we aim to solve some of the mysteries of IWM’s collection and build a clearer understanding of the activities, people and places depicted.

Everyone is welcome and no expert knowledge is needed. Materials and laptops will be provided, but feel free to bring your own mobile devices. All the information gathered will be added to the artworks on Historypin.com to allow these works to be discovered, explored and further enriched.

Date: Wednesday 6 November 2013
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Location: The Hospitium, Museum Gardens, Museum St, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 7FR

RSVP to historypin@wearewhatwedo.org by 5 November 2013.

We have limited space, so please RSVP to guarantee your place.
Refreshments will be provided.

This event is part of Putting Art on the Map, a collaboration between Imperial War
Museums, Historypin and the University of Edinburgh to invite the public to enrich
IWM’s First World War art collection.

If you can’t make it to the event, you can still explore the artworks, add your comments  and help solve some of the mysteries of the collection.

Help us map IWM’s First World War art collection

We need your help!

Imperial War Museums have been sharing hundreds of artworks from their vast First World War collection, ranging from aerial paintings of Mesopotamian landscapes to chalk drawings of the Home Front.

We have identified a 100 artworks which we hope you can help us locate. Check them out in our Mysteries section and use our new tools to pin them to the right spot.

For more Mysteries, follow #ArtMap on Facebook, Twitter and G+ where we’ll regularly be posting more paintings we need help with, from geo-tagging to identifying soldiers’ regiments.

You can also explore more of IWM’s collection, add comments and curate them into your own Collections and Tours, visit Putting Art on the Map and join in!

Scheduled Maintenance

Over the weekend of 12th – 13th October, Historypin will be undergoing scheduled maintenance.

You will be able to browse and explore the site as usual, but will not be able to login, post comments, upload or edit content.

Maintenance will be completed and normal service restored by 18:00 BST / 13:00 EST / 10:00 PST on Sunday 13th.

Thank you for your patience whilst we make Historypin better!

Lincoln Way Viaduct being built, 1948, from the Massillon Museum.