Historypin Collection

The custom of concealment is a mysterious practice; we know very little about why people concealed items in their homes and what they were hoping to achieve. Our lack of knowledge isn’t helped by the fact that a lot of the data on this subject is scattered in various places and a lot of concealed objects themselves never get recorded. This is why the Concealed Revealed Project has started a Historypin collection. We want to catalogue as many finds of concealed objects as possible in order to detect patterns and perhaps begin to understand both this mysterious practice and our modern-day reactions to it. This is where you can help!

If you’ve ever found an object (any type of object) in an unusual location in a building(whether deliberately concealed or accidentally lost), then it would be really helpful if you could add it to our Historypin collection.

Historypin Snap

Please follow these simple instructions:

1. Click on this link to go to the Historypin website.

2. Create your free account by clicking ‘Join’ in the top, righthand corner.

3. Head for the ‘Concealed Revealed’ collection, either by searching via the ‘Browse All Collections’ tab or following this link here.

4. The collection is divided into categories which represent the most common types of finds: animals, bottles, shoes, garments, time capsules, accidental losses, and – for anything else – miscellaneous. Choose the collection you think is most appropriate for your find.

5. Click on ‘Add a pin’. If you’ve got a photograph of your find then please upload it. If not, change the pin from ‘Photo’ to ‘Text’. Write any details you have about the find, including: where, when, and how it was found; what the object looks like, including measurements if possible; whether it was found with any other items; and whatever details you know about the history of the building.

6. ‘Title’: You’ll need to include a title. This can be whatever you want it to be, but can include the place-name and type of object, e.g. ‘Otley Shoe’ for a shoe found in Otley.

7. ‘When is this from?’ You’ll need to provide a rough estimate of date. You might be quite certain about the date of your find or – as is most often the case – have no idea whatsoever. You can estimate a century (e.g. 1700-1800) or if you’re really not sure, you can choose early modern period (1450-1750), modern era (1750-1914), or contemporary (1914-present).

8. ‘Where is this from?’ You’ll need to provide a location. If the item was found in your home and you’re happy to share the address then select ‘I have an exact location for my pin’ and search by your address. If not, then keep it on ‘I have a rough location for my pin’ and search for your area.

9. ‘Tags’: You might want to include some ‘tags’. These are keywords that will help people search for your find, and can include the type and material of the object, and the place they were found.

10. Make sure the right collection is selected at the bottom and then click ‘Save’. Your pin should then be available to view.

If you have any questions about the Historypin collection then please don’t hesitate to contact us on c.houlbrook@herts.ac.uk. Alternatively you could provide us with the details of your find and we’d be more than happy to pin it for you.

Remember, the more pins we get, the more we can learn about this mysterious practice!