Using Social Media for Toledo’s Attic — Digital Curation

The use of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and other social media for archives, libraries, and museums has been commonplace for several years.  It allows curators to promote the collections in social media while engaging the public in the process as well.  Toledo’s Attic has been on Facebook since 2009 and on Twitter and others since 2010.  The Instagram Gallery has been in use since November of 2012, and has invited over 200 submissions via the #toledosattic hashtag.  This is strictly an open gallery with crowd-sourced curation in place.  Toledo’s Attic has not placed a photo; instead, it provided a space to demonstrate what local and virtual Toledoans think of its history and legacy.  This year, we are exploring new chanels via Scoop.it, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Storify, and some others.  Go to Toledo’s Attic and you will find all of our social media channels, which outlines our digital curation ecosystem called so exactly because of the interlinking and auto-feeding possibilities across these social networks. 

If you have mastered any one of these networks and feel passionate about the industrial, commercial, and social history of this area–Toledo, Ohio, Northwest Ohio, Lucas County, and the Maumee Valley–there may be an opportunity for writing and collaborating through the Toledo’s Attic project. 

Instagram for Local History

Last December, we created a crowd-sourced image gallery titled “Local History through the Public Eye.” The idea was to involve local Instagrammers to take photos of local landmarks, historic sites, parks, building details, and views of the city and surrounding areas with unique perspectives, and submit them with the #toledosattic tag. With over 170 photos contributed, the project could be called an initial success, not to mention the formation of a community of Instagram users who responded to the call for images almost instantaneously after the initial Twitter and Facebook postings. Thank you!

The collection includes photographs of Toledo and vicinity as viewed by individuals — in very diverse and personal ways. Some photos are very artistic, which demonstrates that the local landscape can inspire creative activities and new photographic images. Instagram also has the potentials for becoming a community-based preservation tool to be used for capturing building details, building restoration/renovation/demolition projects around town. With the #toledosattic tag, photos will appear on the Toledo’s Attic site, and with the location provided, they will appear on a map that visitors can browse. It would be wonderful for this project to continue.

Instagram photos are copyright protected and are owned by those who took and submitted them for public view.

Update on Toledo’s Attic

Toledo's Attic Home Page

Toledo’s Attic Home Page

We have finally migrated and expanded the content in Toledo’s Attic.  In addition to the 50 historical essays, we also have over 5,000 images, many slide shows, and other interactive presentations.  A significant change in our outreach strategy has been the use of social media, and we have been present in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, HistoryPin, and more recently, in Instagram.  The Instagram allows participants to add the #toledosattic hash tag to allow the image to appear in the Gallery, so this is a collectively curated collection with residents of Toledo and Northwest Ohio deciding what goes on.  We hope that this experimental program helps locals appreciate local history and the need to preserve local historical sites, landmarks, and their memories.

We will continue to add historical essays, photographs, and other contents, but also plan to engage students interested in local history to add items of interest.  For History Day, there is already a comprehensive list of national and international digital archives that can be searched for valuable primary sources with images that student can use in their exhibits.  In addition, we plan to reach out to historical societies in the region in hopes of sustained collaboration.

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