METRO to Host Session on Engaging Communities Around Digital Collections with Historypin

METRO is very pleased to announce a groundbreaking opportunity for members to work with Historypin, a project of the UK not-for-profit We Are What We Do. This opportunity is aimed at helping members enhance discovery, generate streams of new interest, and engage communities around their digital collections.

Historypin has been collaborating with libraries, archives, and museums around the world to help them share their content with a global community of users. Through Historypin, partners can make their content available for people to explore and interact with in new ways: making comparisons through time, adding memories and stories, piecing it together into Collections and Tours and improving what we know about where and when it belongs.

METRO and We Are What We Do CEO, Nick Stanhope, will be hosting a kickoff event to introduce the Historypin project on Thursday June 7th, from 2-5 PM.

During this session, Nick will provide attendees with an overview of Historypin, including the aims of the program, its methodology and history, and how METRO member libraries can get involved creating and customizing Historypin channels to highlight their collections.

Specifically, the general session will cover:

  • An introduction to Historypin, its founding story, social objectives, and business plan as a non-profit project
  • A summary of the digital tools and everything that members can currently get from Historypin, including 4th dimensional mapping, street view overlays, channels, and mobile apps.
  • An exclusive look at what Historypin has on the way over the next 12 months, including metadata crowdsourcing, gamification and linked data tools
  • A summary of the Local Projects and Education programs and how members can benefit from them
  • Aims for the METRO/Historypin partnership and what we hope to achieve together in New York
  • Substantial Q&A, including an invitation to talk through specific uses, projects, collections and challenges

Please note: Attendance at this session will be limited to persons currently involved in managing or working with digital collections at METRO member institutions.

If you are interested in attending, please contact METRO Digital Services Manager, Anne Karle-Zenith, at annekz@metro.org.

More About Historypin

For those not familiar, Historypin is a way for millions of people (and libraries, archives, and museums) to come together, from across different generations, cultures, and places, to share small glimpses of the past and to build up the huge story of human history.  Historypin is made up of photographic images, videos, audio clips, and descriptive and narrative text that have been pinned directly to the Historypin map by users. Anyone can add descriptive or narrative text (including stories and recollections) to photographic, audio or video content that has been "pinned" to the map. Historypin also offers the option to build collections, to bring together content around a particular topic or theme. Historypin also allows you to create tours, which lead visitors step-by-step through a series of pieces of content via a narrative that links them together — giving users a rich journey through a place, era, theme, event, or personal story.

Some of Historypin’s aims are:

  • To bring neighborhoods together around local history and help people feel closer to the place they live in.
  • To get people from different generations talking more, sharing more and coming together more often.
  • To conserve and open up global archives for everyone to enjoy, learn from and improve.
  • To be the largest global archive of human history.


Historypin has been developed by We Are What We Do, in partnership with Google. Historypin launched globally in July 2011.

We Are What We Do  is a not-for-profit company that creates ways for millions of people to do more small, good things, helping address social and environmental issues. They are based in London, with offices in San Francisco and additional team members in Bulgaria.