The Heinz History Center on Historypin

Earlier this year, the Heinz History Center’s Detre Library and Archives launched a page on Historypin, a website that allows users to upload historic images and place them in Google Maps.  Images taken at the street level can also be layered on top of Google Streetview, as in the image below of the Smithfield Street Bridge.

A view of the Smithfield Street Bridge on HistoryPin

Created by We Are What We Do, nonprofit organization that describes itself as a “behavior change company,” Historypin can also be accessed through a free mobile app, available for both the Iphone and Android-powered phones. This foray into Historypin marks the first time that digitized content from the Heinz History Center’s Library and Archives can be accessed through mobile devices.

So far, over 50 images have been posted (or “pinned,” in Historypin parlance) to the site. The images document Pittsburgh’s stadiums, bridges, stores, and schools, many of which have long since been demolished.  In some cases, even the streets on which the photographs were taken are no longer on the map (as in the case of the Hancock School, which was on a section of Webster Avenue in the Hill District that was later replaced by a parking lot for the Civic Arena).

A view of the Boulevard of the Allies during the 1936 flood , layered on a Google Streetview image in HistoryPin.

Along with images from the Heinz History Center, Historypin also features content from the Smithsonian and the Museum of the City of New York.  But it’s not just cultural institutions that can participate – anyone can create a free account and begin uploading scans from their photo collection.

To learn more about Historypin, watch this short video.

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About Matthew Strauss

Chief Archivist at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
This entry was posted in Digital Collections, Maps. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Heinz History Center on Historypin

  1. Betty Arenth says:

    Love this!

    Betty A.

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