Visualizing History: Mapping the 1915 San Francisco World’s Fair

Last week, The Bancroft Library, in partnership with Historypin, held a “pinathon” at UC Berkeley’s lovely 1920’s Morrison Library, to help improve the information associated with the Bancroft’s recently uploaded PPIE albums to Historypin’s online project. The event, at which PPIE author Laura Ackley lent her expertise, also gave participants the opportunity to add new information to a portion of the Bancroft’s Jesse Brown Cook collection, in preparation for their upload to Historypin.

The Bancroft Library, the official repository of PPIE records, worked with Historypin leading up to the event to map hundreds of images from its collections depicting all aspects of the 1915 world’s fair in San Francisco. Event participants, many UC Berkeley students and faculty, worked together on laptops and used resources such as printed grounds maps provided by the Bancroft as well as online exhibit directories digitized from Bancroft’s collections. Some groups explored the uploaded images on Historypin and helped to edit associated location and description information on the live site, while others worked with the raw metadata from the Jesse Brown Cook collection to attribute locations (in the form of coordinates) and dates to the collection’s images. Images uploaded to Historypin (as well as video and audio), must contain locations and dates in order to appear publicly on the website’s map.

The event also kicked off with a tour of the Bancroft Library’s PPIE exhibit by Curator Theresa Salazar, followed by a reception and talk by Laura Ackley, author of San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. The Bancroft also displayed a handful of original PPIE artifacts from its collections in Morrison for participants to browse, completing a fun night of time-travel back to 1915.

You can explore the mapped Bancroft images participants were working on here:

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By Kerri Young
Historypin Community Officer