Last year at this time, I was working with Mike Bronner of Genealabs.com on a new website, one that focuses on local history. Oldpvd.com launched in July as a georeferencing and crowdsourcing site aimed at posting photographs and information about the buildings, places, and people of Providence, RI. It’s been a busy seven months. It’s pretty exciting to see so many people interested in Old Providence.
The What Cheer Writers Club in downtown Providence was the perfect location for a July launch party. A local two-some called the Vox Hunters sang old-time folk tunes, a costumed interpreter met folks at the door, and everyone got a package of local biscotti.
Anyone can participate in OldPVD.com. Have an archive of images of Providence? You can add them and personalize each one with a logo. To date, the following archives are represented in Old Providence:
- Boston Public Library
- Diane Boumenot
- Jewelry District Association
- Library of Congress
- Lippitt House Museum
- Maureen Taylor
- Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty
- Pond Street Project
- Providence City Archives
- Providence Preservation Society
- Providence Public Library Special Collections
- Rhode Island State Archives
- Russell J. DeSimone
- The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Rhode Island
Add your name to the list or suggest another archive by emailing Maureen at firstname.lastname@example.org Want to volunteer to add images? Let Maureen know.
It’s been a wild seven months. Here are a few highlights:
The theme for the Providence Pecha Kucha December was nostalgia, so organizers reached out to see if it was possible to do a presentation on OldPvd. Of course! A Pecha Kucha is a style of presenting that involves twenty slides on an auto timer for twenty seconds per slide. It’s a bit of improv and a lot of rehearsing.
In October, the Lippitt House Museum in Providence hosted a lecture called “The East Side: Then and Now.” A big crowd showed up and shared their knowledge of the neighborhood.
In the News
The weekend of the launch, a local television station aired a piece on the OldPVD site. They filmed me in my backyard garden on a really hot July day.
Recently, a local free paper, East Side Monthly, ran a long piece on OldPVD calling it a Monumental Achievement referring to the fact that each image is pinned to a marker, aka an address.
Studying the Past
This Spring, my alma mater, Rhode Island College is featuring OldPVD.com as part of a Freshman class. Students will be exploring images, history, and location for some places in Providence. This is pretty exciting! I can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Listen to a Podcast
My friend and colleague, Dennise Kowalczyk suggested a short regular spot on Old PVD could be featured on her podcast, Artclectic New England. Each month I record a short piece on a bit of Providence history. As she says, “this podcast was created to celebrate…spotlight…and elevate the variety of incredible arts, culture, lifestyle, and beauty found here in New England.” Thank you, Dennise!
I’m working on plans for 2020 for the site. A better way to communicate news and new additions top the list.
Thank you for being a part of the OldPVD community. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram as Oldpvd. For more information on how your community can set up a site like OldPVD, go to Chronocharts.com.
I’m really excited about sharing the history of my home city!