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Walking through the past. Historypin at the State Library of Queensland

There’s been lots happening on Historypin since we featured the site in issue 10. Historypin’s Jon Voss reveals some of the exciting projects, including those from the State Library of Queensland which are now online.

As readers of Inside History know, there’s been a continuous stream of activity on Historypin from the Antipodes over the last year. Not only have we seen an enormous amount of quality new content, but a steadily increasing amount of web traffic as well!

One of the things you may have noticed in the past few months is that we’ve completely changed the front page of Historypin, in order to highlight the amazing content being uploaded daily to the site. Now you can see our curated Pin of the Day, as well as a live stream of content being added, favourited, or commented on. You can also see the counter showing how many materials and memories have been pinned, the number of users, and the number of institutions (now numbering more than 1,000!).

I was recently talking with Rebekkah Abraham, our director of operations, about various projects we were working on and, while taking a look at the site, we both ended up sidetracked by a wonderful old photo someone had added. The great irony, we realised, was that if we want to get work done, we have to avoid looking at the front page of Historypin or we end up too engrossed in an old picture, or an endearing story! Of course, we decided it’s a good problem to have. There are more than a dozen cultural heritage institutions from Australia with active channels on Historypin, including state libraries, the National Archives of Australia, city museums, and many more. Who knows what you could find?

I recently had the privilege of visiting the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) in Brisbane, where I was even treated to a walking tour of the CBD with about 20 librarians from around Australia and New Zealand. The librarians had gathered for a conference and a Historypin workshop, and it was terrific to wander around with fellow history enthusiasts to find remnants of days gone by. It felt very much like a treasure hunt, in fact, trying to find that buried photo that we could line up just so on Street View! My favourite part was winding our way through a casino and a bar to reach a balcony where we could get the perfect vantage point to snap a Historypin Repeat!

SLQ is a great example of how libraries are not only posting lots of amazing content but also working Historypin into their educational programs to reach deep into the country. We learned about their work with communities such as Cunnamulla, where they’ve had fun with the Historypin Repeat functionality in places where Google Street View has yet to reach.

State Librarian, Janette Wright says that SLQ works with local libraries across Queensland. “We support them in their important role and help them build their skills and knowledge so they can use innovative services like Historypin in their communities,” Janette says.

Explore some of the Margaret Warren’s favourite photos from the State Library of Queensland Historypin collection below or click here to view their whole collection.

Other useful links:
Historypin FAQs – click here
State Library of Queensland Historypin – click here

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