If you’ve followed this blog for any time at all you know I love old photographs, so I’ve been enjoying Historypin, a (relatively) new website from Britain on which people post/pin their old photographs for locations around the world. By “old”, I mean nineteenth century or 1999. You can search by location and even see old photographs superimposed on contemporary street scenes. What is particularly interesting about this site–about the entire project—is the range of photographs: from public and event-oriented to private and family-oriented. It’s always interesting to get a more intimate view of the past, and Historypin has the potential to do just that. There are audio and video clips as well, and “tours” that you can take through various visual histories.
You can also make your own collections, from photographs that are already on the site as well as your own. Here’s a photograph of a stylish couple at Royal Ascot in 1936 from the “Fabulous Fashion” collection:
There are not very many Salem photographs pinned to this digital map yet, but there was one I had never seen before, of an unidentified church near the House of the Seven Gables in 1929, from the collection of the Boston Public Library. The site looks unrecognizable to me, but the Gables has a very large parking lot.
There’s a very nice collection of historic photographs of Marblehead, the town next door, pinned by an obviously enthusiastic collector. I particularly like this one: four girls and their bicycles on State Street, summer of 1898.