NDSU Archives Historypin displays Fargo History
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 15:10
NDSU Archives offers a whole new way of viewing Fargo and NDSU history through its channel on Historypin.
Historypin is a website developed in 2011 by the company We Are What We Do in partnership with Google. It allows users to pin old photographs onto a global map. These old photographs are overlaid with the current Street View from Google Maps, which allows users to compare locations today with how they looked at different moments in history.
NDSU Archives began the Historypin project this fall. It currently has nearly 350 historic photographs uploaded to its Historypin channel in five collections of Fargo: Hawthorne Neighborhood, NDSU campus, Clara Barton Neighborhood, Downtown District and the Tornado of 1957.
Each photograph is accompanied by a description and some historical background.
Viewers can also take a virtual tour of the NDSU campus. This tour includes photographs from Ladd Hall in 1926, the Memorial Union in 1950 and the old Chemistry Building that was destroyed from an explosion in 1909.
For example, viewers can get a glimpse of what Old Main, the first building on campus, looked like in 1893, when NDSU was known as North Dakota Agricultural College.
The Street View shows several old photos of the University gates superimposed on the image of the gates today.
Other collections show old photos of houses from Fargo neighborhoods and downtown businesses.
Archives Associate John Hallberg said the most interesting thing about the Historypin project is seeing how locations have changed over time.
“It makes history more real,” he said.
NDSU Archives, along with many other libraries and schools throughout the world who use Historypin, view it as a good tool to share history and stories with the public.
“It gives a way for people who aren’t in Fargo or in our state to see what NDSU Archives has,” Archivist Trista Raezer said.
Halberg also said Historypin could be useful for architecture and history students, people doing site plans or people who are just curious.
So far, NDSU Archives has received plenty of positive feedback on the project, Halberg said. Their Historypin channel has received nearly 18,000 views in the short time it has been in existence.
“It was pretty cool to see how quickly it was catching on,” Halberg said.
He foresees the project’s popularity growing as time goes on.
“We hope people will continue to tune in,” he said. “We will continue to add new photographs to keep people interested.”
This will be a continuous project for NDSU Archives. New photos will be added as archivists have time. Raezer said they hope to add photos of other towns in North Dakota as well.
The Historypin website is user-friendly. A google email address is needed to create an account, but photos can be viewed without an account as well.
The NDSU Archives Historypin channel can be viewed at http://www.historypin.com/channels/view/id/12313037/.