Labrador school’s Historypin project

Students collecting stories to create shared local history archives about their communities.

Project Description

Labrador school’s Historypin project


Happy Goose Valley, Labrador, Canada

Running every year since 2012


Explore the collection


The kids have to find photos from their family, so this often means a fantastic chance to sit down with the grandparents and converse with them.”
— Teacher/organiser

Why was it run

Susan wanted to bring to life the Language Arts and Social Studies curriculum, which requires students to develop their interviewing and interpersonal skills. She saw interacting with historical photos as ideal for this, with the added benefit of creating an appreciation for local heritage. She thought Historypin would be the perfect tool to do this.


Susan Lamond, primary school teacher


400 pupils from Queen of Peace and Peacock Primary Schools and their families.

What happened

In the first year Susan arranged a Skype call between her students and students from Nelson Rural School in Miramichi, east Canada – over 1500km away – who had previously run a Historypin project and could offer them some tips.

The project has been run annually since 2012. Each year the project is run in a similar way, with pupils being shown the Historypin website and visited by an archivist from a local history magazine.

To develop their interview skills, the teacher puts up a photo of a local historical figure and the students ask questions of the person in the photo, which the teacher answers. They learn to draw out the stories behind older photos and older people.

Students have a few weeks to collect photos from friends and family, instructed to ‘get the story behind the picture’ if they wanted their contribution to be added to Historypin.

The school also hosts an Open House Session at the end of the project – where the pupils exhibit their work, and friends, grandparents, families and teachers are invited. There are large wall displays, live interactive Historypin displays and an awards ceremony for the pupils at the end. Members of the Historypin team have also Skyped in to congratulate the students on their work.

Susan has run this project with both third and sixth graders and found it most successful with the third graders
(8-9 year olds).

There was a huge buzz around the school. The kids would upload pictures and then rush home to see how many views they had on pictures; it became like a competition.
— Teacher/organiser


What was created

Each year, students create:

  • A digital archive on with 91 photos and memories in 2012, 48 in 2013 and 156 in 2014.
  • A display in the school
  • An open house session for families

Explore the Peacock Primary School’s collection (2014)

Explore the Queen of Peace Primary School’s collection (2013)

Explore the Queen of Peace Primary School’s collection  (2012)

One girl brought in an old photo depicting a small boy between two absolutely enormous fish, which had been widely reproduced locally as postcards and posters. The boy’s identity wasn’t known until interviews with family members revealed he was the student’s great, great, great grandfather, Victor Croucher and the student had been named Victoria, after him.

Susan says:

  • “It has proved a great tool to fulfil a motivation to increase kids’ awareness of the history of their rural communities in Happy Goose Valley, New Foundland and Labrador, and the wider world.”
  • “Sharing the students’ work has been a fantastic experience for all involved. I have done presentations to teachers, principals and our school board and everybody is very impressed… I have been approached by several more teachers this year who want to do the project!”
Future Plans

2015 is the school’s 50th anniversary and they will be running a larger celebratory event based on the sessions, involving the whole school.