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Monthly Featured Archive - September

posted Sep 24, 2012, 8:17 PM by Society of American Archivists Student Chapter

Archive of the Month – PhillyHistory.org
        Written by Ashley T. Hartwell, SAA-SC President

Find out what an entire city's photographic archives collection can accomplish: visit www.phillyhistory.org!

PhillyHistory.org is an amazing website which set off to digitally catalog the 2 million photographs of Philadelphia dating from the late 1800's that had belonged to the City's photo archives.  All archival photographs on the website can be searched by keyword and date, and many of the photos have been assigned a geographic location, so they are also searchable by an address, intersection, place name or neighborhood.  Additionally, users can simply locate an area on the map, and the website will display photographs taken in that specific location.  Registered users of the site are allowed more access, and can make recommendations on annotations and metadata.  This website won the 2011 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.  PhillyHistory.org is also compatible with the GPS on a Smartphone, allowing users to use their location on a map to find photographs for that area.  This organization maintains a blog and can be followed on Twitter, but perhaps the most interesting advancement that this archive is working on is an ability to take a picture with your Smartphone, and together with the GPS technology, the website would overlay the image with a photograph to how the area once looked; this is known as augmented reality.