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April 29, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU students bring history to life through HistoryPin project

A class project in Aaron Cowan's "Public History" course at Slippery Rock University is in the news as students post photographs of significant people, places and events on a virtual map of Lawrence County helping area residents, and those interested in the area's history, gain a better sense of the past.
The story was published in a recent issue of the New Castle News and outlined how Cowan, an assistant professor of history, and his students worked with the Lawrence County Historical Society, interested citizens and other organizations to find and post photos through the online HistoryPin website:!/geo:41.003672,-80.347009/zoom:11/.
The project also allows viewers to look at specific locations in the county along with historically significant photos and to often see how streets and landscapes have changed over the years. The New Castle photos include the "Great Easter Flood of 1913," the old Calvin Jones and Son Grocery and the 1931 Cancos Mushball Team of New Castle, and some 150 others.

HistoryPin is a collaborative online tool where site visitors can both view and add to the information. The photos may be viewed over a time continuum.
"The more people know about the site and the project, the stronger its impact," Cowan told the newspaper. "It all began last spring when about 20 students worked in groups to research for an entire semester and make a capstone presentation on what they discovered. It continued with a new class this year."
Students pulled photos for the project from the New Castle Public Library and the New Castle News among other sources.
Cowan said the project should be completed in May.

Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.