Albert Gore Research Center Channel on Historypin

Written  by Donna Baker, University Archivist

Dr. Mary Hoffschwelle came to the Albert Gore Research Center last semester with an idea for her Tennessee History Honors class. She had been experimenting with her own research on a website called Historypin, and would we be interested in working with her class on a similar project?  We are always looking for ways to collaborate with faculty and students, and this was a new way to get our content out to new audiences, so we were happy to join in the experiment.  Eight students poured over our collections, read university histories, and pieced together images and narratives to create the collections, which were then incorporated into a campus tour by Dr. Hoffschwelle. On Wednesday, April 17, we launched the new Albert Gore Research Center channel on Historypin.

I have described Historypin as “Pinterest for Historians.”  Historypin uses Google™ maps and other technology to “pin” photographs to a geographic location.   Private citizens as well as archives, libraries, and other cultural institutions can post content on the map.  What is more helpful, photographs can be placed in a timeline, giving the historical context of the image not only on each individual channel, but across the Historypin site. Want to see all the images on the site from 1930?  You can do that with no problem.

The eight collections created by the students feature university figures such as Q.M. Smith, Charles “Bubber” Murphy, Johnny “Red” Floyd and May Saunders.  Specific locations on the map featured our first buildings–the President’s House and Rutledge Hall–as well as nonextant buildings, like the Murfree Library.

A group photo was absolutely necessary to capture the successful launching of the channel.


For a quick film about the launch, go to

Go to|photos/list/ to view to our Historypin channel.  

We are grateful to the class for all their hard work on this project.  If you like what they did, please leave a comment below.

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2 Responses to Albert Gore Research Center Channel on Historypin

  1. Kayla says:

    Very cool, they did a great job!

  2. Mary Hoffschwelle says:

    Many, many thanks to Donna Baker, Rachel Smith, and Honors Tennessee History students for all their hard work!

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