Museum Studies at Tufts University

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Tag: boston public library

Historypin Review

So on Monday we announced the launch of Historypin, a really interesting new interactive history project. Users from all over the world can share digital content – stories, videos, photos – by “pinning” it to the Google Maps interface. Today we’ll have a quick review/overview of the nuts and bolts of the project, and then on Friday, we’ll bring you an interview with the creator of Historypin and the CEO of We Are What We Do Nick Stanhope.

Entering Historypin for the first time is simple if you have a Google account: because the project is in partnership with Google, you can just use your Google login. A few more clicks to agree to terms and conditions and decide whether or not you want email, and you’re dropped right onto a map of the UK to start exploring.

The basic Historypin interface looks like a Google Map, zoomed in a bit more than usual, and covered with “pins” holding up photographs, as if onto a corkboard. You can manipulate the screen in the same way as the Google Maps page, by dragging left or right or zooming in. Some photographs appear at the top level to draw you in; as you zoom in you see many more that appear in their specific places.

Essentially, users are invited to do a couple of things. High-level users can contribute their own content to the map by uploading photos or videos and “pinning” them to a particular location. The pinning can be specific enough to place a photo right at the intersection it was taken at in 1900. There’s also a neat function that places exterior photos over their modern locations using street view; you can superimpose a photo of London after the Blitz over the same London street in 2011, for example.

The project has already gotten some high-level support from major institutions, from the Museum of the City of New York to the Boston Public Library. Plans over the next year include local collaborations with communities, sending Historypin staff out into these communities to hold discussions about sharing even more content. They’ll also be rolling out a full set of institutional tools, so other museums can share their collections and also bring the Historypin application back to their own websites. Historypin and the Brooklyn Museum are experimenting with crowdsourcing metadata for photographs to increase community engagement and allow for more files to be uploaded.

It seems like a really wonderful tool and method for sharing. My concerns have to do with its possible limitations – so many wonderful photographs out there are not tied to a precise place, or are even indoors. Historypin’s strength seems to be in the changing urban landscape of major cities, where intersections can be located quickly and easily. There are many other layers to history – including vitally important non-visual ones. Will there be  a way to incorporate objects into the project? Not many museums have vast historical photographs of their local areas. What about paintings?

What do you think, Tufts community? Revolutionary and genius way to engage communities with history, or gimmicky and limited?

Exhibitions and Outreach Associate [Boston Public Library]

Exhibitions & Outreach Associate
BPL Community Library Services

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Library – Other
The Organization
A leading American historian has called the Public Library of the City of Boston “one of the five great libraries of the world.”

Well over 3.5 million people visit the Boston Public Library every year to use its collection of 8.9 million books. Another 7 million people connect with the BPL through its website to take advantage of its many services and its growing collection of electronic resources, downloadable media and digitalized rare books and manuscripts.

Among its preeminent collections, the BPL holds several first edition folios by William Shakespeare; original music scores by Mozart, Prokofiev and others; and the personal library of President John Adams.  In addition, the BPL is home to the renowned Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, which includes over 200,000 historic maps and 5,000 atlases documenting the evolution of the printed map.

Over 12,000 programs and classes attract thousands of residents from across the diverse neighborhoods and cultural groups that make up the city. Award winning online and in-library homework assistance sessions, ESL and literacy classes, are also a popular draw.

The BPL is a department of the municipal government of Boston and a statutory charitable organization governed by a board of nine distinguished trustees appointed by the Mayor.

Position Overview
Assist Manager of Exhibitions and Outreach in the coordination and implementation of exhibitions, related programming, the art and architecture tour guide program at Copley Square, and fundraising initiatives.

Reports to
Manager of Exhibitions and Outreach or delegate.

As assigned, professional and support staff.

Scope of Responsibility
1. Exhibition Coordination: Assists the Manager of Exhibitions and Outreach with all aspects of gallery exhibition installation at Copley Square including scheduling, site logistics, vendor relations, curatorial coordination, design and production, budget tracking and invoice payment, digitization, set-up and de-installation oversight of special collections materials, evaluation and data collection, publicity and communications, special event assistance, and follow-up.
2. Exhibition Content Generation:  Assists with the drafting and editing of copy for gallery and online exhibitions as needed.   Assists with proofreading and design review of installation materials.  Assists with input and maintenance of exhibition web page for current and past exhibitions, including inputting and formatting text and adding related digital images.
3. Program Support: Works with Programs & Outreach Librarians to assist in the coordination of lectures, children and adult programs, and system-wide events related to exhibition initiatives for the library, including speaker/performer correspondence, publicity materials, travel and event organization, audio-visual needs, night-of support, and invoice processing.
4. Tour Guide Program Coordination: Maintains weekly volunteer public tour schedule for the ongoing Art and Architecture tour program at Copley Square; coordinates and books requests for public, private, and special tours; organizes and oversees bi-monthly tour guide meetings and continuing education programs; assists with implementation of annual tour guide training program; compiles and reports program statistics; and coordinates and oversees special exhibition-related tours as appropriate.
5. Information Gathering and Fundraising Support: Assists Manager of Exhibitions and Outreach as liaison with BPL affiliate groups.  Assists with the maintenance of related records and files for affiliate projects, fundraising activities, and events.  Works closely with appropriate BPL staff to coordinate accurate and time-sensitive gathering of information, statistics, materials, and images for grant proposals and fundraising initiatives, donor reports, board presentations, private donor events, and other purposes as required.
6. Administration:  Schedules meetings, prepares meeting materials, develops agendas, and takes minutes as appropriate.
7. Performs other related and comparable duties as assigned.

1. Ability to execute library policy.
2. Demonstrates initiative and appropriate independent decision making skills.
3. Communicates effectively and presents ideas clearly.
4. Identifies, plans, and prioritizes job responsibilities and tasks; assists in determining and implementing project timelines.
5. Ability to collaborate with library staff, external partners and resources.
6. Proficiency with Microsoft Office.

Education – Bachelor’s degree from recognized college or university.  Graduate degree in related field in Education and/or Museum Studies preferred. In exceptional instances specialized education, training and/or experience may be substituted for part or all of the educational requirements.

Experience – Two years or more experience in curatorial and/or exhibition coordination in museum, library, or cultural heritage institution required.  This experience must include working with special collections and archival materials, including knowledge of and experience with best practices for exhibition display and content creation, appropriate preservation principles and practices, and artifact handling.

Technologically advanced; expert user of Microsoft Office, especially Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Demonstrated experience with digital photography, basic photo editing and resizing.  Superior writing skills, editing skills, and attention to detail.  Strong portfolio illustrating examples of work.   Ability to successfully manage several demanding projects simultaneously and identify priorities in fast-paced environment.   Self-motivated with exceptional follow-up on assignments.

Flexible Schedule:  Some evening and weekend hours; weekly schedule varies based on scheduled programs and events.

1. Ability to exercise good judgment and focus on detail as required by the job.
2. Residency – Must be a resident of the City of Boston upon the first day of hire.
3. CORI – Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders Record Information check with the City of Boston.


Union/Salary Plan/Grade:  PSA/P-2
Hours per week:  35
Please refer to the Salary Information section on the Boston Career Center site for more information on compensation.  For each Salary Plan, salaries are listed by Grade and Step.

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