Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tarleton Thursday: Historypin Tour of Campus

Just in time for Homecoming 2016, the Dick Smith Library is introducing a Historypin tour of the main campus in Stephenville!

What is Historypin?  It's a nonprofit organization with "a free website where anyone can upload and create collections of historical photos, videos and sounds."  You can also create a "tour," which is what we have done with some of the photographs from the University Photo Collection.

The Special Services and Archives Department of the Dick Smith Library (Coordinator Amanda Pape, Collections Archivist Gary Spurr, and former staff member Crystal Stanley) chose 18 photographs from this collection and uploaded them to Historypin.  In the process, you can actually "pin" the image on a Google Map.  If the location has a "Street View" available, there's a really neat "Dear Photograph"-like then-and-now feature you can activate.

Below is one example.  The very first John Tarleton College building was located at the northwest corner of what is now N. McIlhaney Street and W. Tarleton Street / Military Drive.  Below is a screen capture from our tour on Historypin, showing a 1900 photograph of the building superimposed over its approximate site.

Note the slider bar at the top of the photograph?  If you slide the red dot all the way over to the left, you get a more contemporary view of the same site (in this case, where the Hunewell Bandstand is now located):

Below is an outline of the "stops" on the Tarleton State University Campus History Tour.  The six spots with an orange figure in the upper right corner are along the campus perimeter and thus had Google Map Street Views available where we could use this feature.

Even better for the research and history geeks in our library department, there is lots of space to include a detailed history of each site, including links to other resources, such as the Cross Timber Historic Images Project photographs and narratives, and relevant pages and articles from the collection of Grassburr yearbooks and J-TAC student newspapers online at the Portal to Texas History.  The Grassburrs and J-TACs often provide descriptions and other details written in the same years the photographs were taken, resulting in more accuracy.

We invite all alumni, students, and current and previous faculty and staff to take the tour!  Let us know in the comments (here on the blog or on the Historypin site) what you think, and if you have any stories (or photos) to add! 

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