The National Archives Puts Its Holdings on the Map Via Historypin
Press Release · Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Washington, DC

The National Archives today announced it has joined Historypin, a project of the British non-profit We Are What We Do™ that seeks to bring multiple generations together around the history of their neighborhoods and communities. Visit the National Archives on Historypin at

The Historypin platform enables content owners to upload historical photographs, videos and audio recordings to Google maps, where they are then geo-tagged and dated. Users are encouraged to add descriptive information and personal narratives to these items, helping to tell the story of how familiar environments have changed over time. This content can be compiled into topical, chronological or geographic collections as well as tours that let users virtually explore a place, time or storyline. Historypin is accessible via its full web site or on the go with its Smartphone app.

The National Archives on Historypin launches with a selection of Mathew Brady Civil War photographs; images from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Documerica photographic documentation project of the 1970s; photographs of streets, buildings, and historic events in Washington, DC; and images used in the recent History Happens Here augmented reality contest. Future monthly updates will include Documerica, Mathew Brady, and Brooklyn Navy Yard collections among others.

The National Archives is the first U.S. Federal Executive Branch agency to partner with Historypin and joins the New York Public Library, Library of Congress, and over 100 archives, libraries and museums in the United States and Europe in reaching a new locally-minded and globally active community.

National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives is a public trust upon which our democracy depends, ensuring access to essential evidence that protects the rights of American citizens, documents the actions of the government, and reveals the evolving national experience.


Historypin is a way for millions of people 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. Everyone has history to share: whether it’s sitting in yellowed albums in the attic, collected in piles of crackly tapes, conserved in the 1000s of archives all over the world or passed down in memories and old stories. Each of these pieces of history finds a home on Historypin, where everyone has the chance to see it, add to it, learn from it, debate it and use it to build up a more complete understanding of the world. Historypin has been developed by the not-for-profit company We Are What We Do, in partnership with Google.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at (202) 357-5300.

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