In a previous post I wrote about historical photos of my family, and how I always find old pictures to be of great interest and value in genealogy. I have recently come across a website that has a huge historical image archive. It is called Historypin, and it contains thousands of historical photos of buildings, landmarks, and people from around the world.
Historypin is built on user content - users upload their personal photographs and share them with everybody else. As a result there is a real community spirit with the project, and getting involved in the community is very easy. Sign up is free, and a quick visit to the community homepage provides a wealth of information on schools, libraries, archives, and museums - basically anywhere where history can be learnt and enjoyed.
The key to Historypin is that individuals, groups, and organisations work together to create a massive resource of historical pictures and information. As users upload their photographs they can add stories and details to provide context. This really helps with the understanding of the time period that a picture represents, and is fascinating for any family historian.
The way that Historypin works is really cool. It is based on a giant map, which every historical photo is pinned to. The map can be searched by place or time to find historical photos of relevant scenes. Best of all, since Historypin works in conjunction with Google, old photos of an area can be compared with a modern equivalent using Google Streetview. This is a lot of fun, and it is fascinating to see the ways that areas have changed, and stayed the same.
Due to this link up with Google, a Google account is needed to log in to Historypin, but this is very straightforward, and completely free, to set up. The more people that get involved in the community of Historypin the better it will be, and the more historical photos of interest will be shared and enjoyed.