February 16, 2018

Libraries Test Chronicle: Collaborative Local History

The team behind Chronicle—a new collaborative platform and community designed for photographers—has approached several libraries over the past six months to participate in the closed beta release of the platform. Users add recent photos or scanned archival prints to the platform via an app or web interface, where they are collected in chronicles focused on specific locations, events, or themes.

Ben Himmelfarb | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Educators

Creative collaboration is Ben Himmelfarb’s specialty. While still early in his career, Himmelfarb has “made…our local history collection come alive for the community,” says Kathleen Degyansky, White Plains PL assistant director. Through monthly local history roundtables, Himmelfarb connects the community on topics such as urban renewal and affordable housing, bringing together people with divergent views and leading them in productive conversation, says library director Brian Kenney. The latter roundtable drew the notice of the mayor’s office and the City Planning Department, as well as bringing in a large public audience.

Manuel Escamilla | Movers & Shakers 2015 — Educators

“I’m a certified professional hoarder for local history,” is how Manuel Escamilla, archivist at Santa Ana Public Library (SAPL), describes himself. “We can save it all first, organize it later.”