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

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.

Historypin is back in Austin!

Going to be in Austin next week? So are we! We’re back at SXSW with an exciting global panel entitled 100 Years of Oversharing: Tools for Time Travel, happening March 10 at 12:30pm in the Convention Center.

And if that’s not enough, we helped put together a roundtable of amazing dreamers and doers from around the world which is free and open to the public at the #IdeaDrop House. The panel was called Backporch Beers Roundtable: Mashup Culture, made possible by E-Resources and Libraries (ER&L), ProQuest and the Digital Library Federation (DLF).  The conversation was hosted by Historypin’s Jon Voss and Rachel Frick of the Digital Library Federation.  

Don’t worry, this isn’t actually an hour and a half long, we broke it into two 30 minute sessions with a 20 minute break in between since we couldn’t fit everyone on the couch. Group one considered copyright and examples that push the boundaries in GLAMs and included Keir Winesmith, Head of Web and Digital Projects, SFMOMA; Molly Jacobs, Web Producer, American Experience/PBS; Heather Champ, Community & Content, Findery; and Richard Vijgen, Information Designer.

Group 2 starts at about 46 minutes into the recording and explores some global examples of creative reuses of library and museum spaces and content. This group featured Daniel Flood, Creative Production Manager, The Edge, State Library of Queensland; Johan Oomen, Manager R&D, Netherlands Institute of Sound & Vision; Kathryn Jaller, New Media Manager, Contemporary Jewish Museum; and Joe Voss, Senior Counsel, Clark Hill PLC.

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:


Upcoming events: William Orpen and Maritime Heritage

Well if he did, he would have loved our next two Putting Art on the Map events: Crowdsourcing the Maritime History of the First World War at Chatham Historic Dockyard and Crowdsourcing Orpen’s First World War artworks in the Imperial War Museums’ famous Orpen Boardroom.

Come and join us to help find out more about these fantastic works.

Crowdsoursing the Maritime History of the First World War
Date: Thursday 27 February 2014
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Location: Steam, Steel and Submarines Gallery, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TE

Crowdsoursing the First World War works of William Orpen
Date: Tuesday 4 March 2014
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Location: Orpen Boardoom, IWM London, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HZ

Get in touch for more information or to book


Celebrating the Opening of the Golden Gate International Exposition in Year of the Bay

Yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) on Treasure Island in 1939, the colorful world’s fair held to mark the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge in San Francisco. An important event in the history of the San Francisco Bay, we are celebrating the fair in our Year of the Bay project by sharing some lovely images contributed by individuals and institutions.

Aerial over San Francisco looking towards the Bay Bridge and GGIE on Treasure Island, 1939 (San Diego Air and Space Archives).

Treasure Island, an island built just for the occasion, juts out in the middle of the San Francisco Bay between the City and Oakland. With the Bay Area’s two famous bridges just completed, the GGIE and Treasure Island proclaimed to the world that San Francisco was resilient enough to create a Disneyland-like wonderland in the midst of the Great Depression. As with many of the famous world fairs of yesteryear, the GGIE of 1939 featured many peculiar attractions, such as an automobile racetrack for monkeys, a Western town with little people in cowboy costumes, and Sally Rand’s Nude Ranch. Elaborate architectural buildings, corny historical pageants, technological innovations, and plenty of good old-fashioned amusement-park fun and games were also what you could expect to enjoy at the exhibition.

Today, with most of the exhibition buildings gone, Treasure Island is an unassuming flat piece of land jutting out from Yerba Buena Island in the Bay and it is easy to drive by without noticing it. But at the time of the exhibition, it was a grand fairground and world destination. Here are some great images from this event mapped out in our project, from those such as the San Francisco Chronicle Archives and more:

Constructing the Elephant Towers at the GGIE with San Francisco in the background, Jan. 1939 (Chronicle Archives).

Street View of people watching a parade at the GGIE, 1939 (Chronicle Archives). Despite the construction of the new eastern span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge this past year, the old span remains on Street View for a great then-and now comparison.

The pavilions of the GGIE, 1939 (Chronicle Archives).

Massive Federal Building at the GGIE, pinned by docomomo-noca.

Entrance to the very Californian "Redwood Empire" exhibition at the GGIE, 1939 (Chronicle Archives).

A postcard I found in San Francisco's Ferry Building depicting the Fountain of Western Waters at the GGIE, 1939.

Like many world’s fairs, San Francisco’s turned out to be a financial failure. Although around seventeen million people visited the GGIE during its two years, the $7.8 million fair still lost money. But those who visited it never forgot their experience there.

Built and held as World War II approached, the GGIE was a last moment of simplicity before everything in the world changed. Famous SF Chronicle columnist Herb Caen, who visited the exhibition as a young reporter, later recalled, “Then came the night the lights went down forever at the 1940 Fair on Treasure Island, and we knew there was nothing left to do but wait for our war to come along and get us – for what was left of our youth died then and there, out in the black bay.”


To explore all these images and more in our Year of the Bay project, and to pin some of your own, click the image below to go to our map of pins:

Map of GGIE pins in Year of the Bay.

American Experience Launches the Engineering Map of America

The original Pennsylvania Station, erected in 1910 in New York City, was a vast structure that occupied two whole city blocks, or 28 acres. Image courtesy of Library of Congress.

New York’s Pennsylvania Station was an incredible achievement of modern engineering, though in the rapidly changing landscape of New York City, it would stand only for a number of decades. As usual, the American Experience team brings this exciting history to life in their new film, The Rise and Fall of Penn Station, on PBS.

As part of the February 18th debut of the film, American Experience has launched the Engineering Map of America. Their team has worked with content partners to map engineering feats across the United States on the interactive map, powered by Historypin. They’ve also updated the American Experience iPhone app, adding another chapter to the Abolitionist Map of America, and now including geolocated video content of America’s most amazing construction projects. Check out their video below about the app.

Putting Art on the Map at the British Postal Museum and Archive

Monday 10 February 2014 saw Historypin and the Putting Art on the Map team down at the British Postal Museum and Archive at Mount Pleasant in London. The theme of the event was Postal communications and Telecommunications in the First World War.

After a great introduction to the IWM collections by Dr Alice Strickland and an introduction to the BPMA’s collections by Gavin McGuffie, the group got down to the business of choosing one of the 20 brilliant artworks selected for this event from both Imperial War Museums’ and British Postal Museum and Archive collections. With subject matters as wide ranging as postal sorting, radio telegraphy, valve testing right through to heliography the event was sure to be an interesting one.

Using the original resources held within the archive and museum including maps, archive documents and photographs along side computers hooked up to the internet the team began detailing some fascinating insights into the individual art works. We’ve located around 15 of the 20 images in the selection more accurately and there were some amazing research skills displayed by the group.

Army Post Office 3, Boulogne, 1919  by Sir John Lavery  (RA) (RSA)

Army Post Office 3, Boulogne, 1919 by Sir John Lavery (RA) (RSA)

This work by Sir John Lavery peaked the interest of those within the postal heritage world for its striking resemblance to the images within the BPMA’s own collections of Army Letter Office No.2, Regents Park in 1918. The resemblance of structure led to a conversation about whether these temporary depots were actually laid out as a standard, repeatable structure. The system of sorting was identified as quite standard and using the IWM’s new zoom tool the group identified that the mail was being sorted into sections ‘Artilery’ and ‘POW’. Take a look at this beautiful image in high resolution yourself to see the detail.

Army Letter Office No.2, Regents Park, London

Army Letter Office No.2, Regents Park, London 1918

We’ll be adding all the information, data, comments and questions collected to the artworks on Putting Art on the Map where you can join in the conversation and help add more details to these brilliant artworks. As ever, it was an amazing event and we want to thank the BPMA and all of the those who joined us the the afternoon for really getting involved.

Want to join us at our next live event?

Crowdsourcing Aviation History of the First World War
Date: Saturday 22 February 2014
Time 1pm – 3pm. Optional Museum tour at 3pm.
Location IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR

Crowdsoursing the Maritime History of the First World War
Date: Thursday 27 February 2014
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Location: Steam, Steel and Submarines Gallery, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TE

Crowdsoursing the First World War works of William Orpen
Date: Tuesday 4 March 2014
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Location: Orpen Boardoom, IWM London, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HZ

In the meantime, don’t forget to explore Putting Art on the Map where you can solve mysteries and curate your own tours and collections with IWM’s amazing artworks and follow the conversation through IWM’s daily Tweets, Facebook and Google+ posts.

For the latest news and events, keep an eye on our blog.


Putting Art on the Map: Boats, Planes and…The Royal Mail

Boats, Planes and the War time communications – these are the themes for our next three Putting Art on the Map live events. We are asking the public to help us explore and enrich the Imperial War Museums’ First World War art collections and help us locate and solve some of the mysteries that these fabulous paintings it holds.

Dazzled Leave Ships,Boulogne by Charles Bryant. Art.IWM ART 1346

Dazzled Leave Ships, Boulogne by Charles Bryant.

February’s Events

Crowdsourcing Postal and Telecommunications History During the First World War
Date: Monday 10 February 2014
Time: 1 – 4pm
Location: Royal Mail Archive, Freeling House, Phoenix Pl, London WC1X 0DL

Crowdsourcing Aviation History of the First World War
Date: Saturday 22 February 2014
Time 1 – 3pm. Optional Museum tour at 3pm.
Location IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR

Crowdsoursing the Maritime History of the First World War
Date: Thursday 27 February 2014
Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Location: Steam, Steel and Submarines Gallery, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TE

So far we have run sessions all over the country – in Edinburgh, York and even in the wonderful Gordon Museum in the heart of London. We’ve found out some pretty cool stuff too. Not only have we located over 90 images across Europe, but we’ve had some amazing insights into art works along the way. From well know art works like John Nash’s Over the Top right through to little known artworks like this sketch of ‘The Church, Sailly-au-Bois’ by Geoffrey K Rose placed back into the scenes where the artist sketched.

All of this has been made possible by people getting involved. We want you to help us right now by going to solve some mysteries on Putting Art on the Map, or if you like planes, boats or have a passion for communications technologies of the past then why not come to one of our live events?

To book a place at any of our events, or for more information about Putting Art on the Map and how you can get involved just email

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 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 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