Ohio University Libraries Pins History

This class photo and other pieces of the past can be found on Maggie’s Pinterest board.

“I’d Pin that,” is a phrase being uttered all around the nation as the new social media platform, Pinterest, gains addicts everywhere. “I’d pin that” is exactly what Digital Initiatives (DI) Coordinator Janet Carleton thought as she and her team delved further into the idea of bringing Ohio University’s first female graduate back to life through social media.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past seven months, Ohio University has been tweeting from the diary of its first alumna, Maggie Boyd, who graduated in 1873. Blog posts and the Pinterest board have also coincided with the tweets to make the experience more interactive and entertaining for followers.

Carleton and the DI student assistants started Pinterest on a trial basis back in September, before it had really taken off. They developed multiple boards including the popular Ohio University’s College Green and Student Life boards, posting images from the University Archives digital collections.

When the Maggie project launched in January so did the Pinterest board. To date, there have been 23 pins that feature images related Maggie and her life at OHIO. Included are her graduation program, images of Athens in the 1870s and photos of some of her classmates.

 “We’ve become such a visual culture,” said Carleton. “To get the visual representation on one page really adds [to Maggie’s story] and brings it full circle.” And people are enjoying the full story. Maggie’s Pinterest Page, @MaggieBoyd1873′s World, has 85 followers and 24 repins to date

The Maggie Boyd twitter feed is still going strong by staying at about 500 followers even after her graduation date. With the followers of the accompanying blogs and the activity on the Pinterest Board, Maggie Boyd is more popular than she ever was during her lifetime.

“Finding friends for a long dead girl” hasn’t been as challenging as Carleton had initially thought. In fact, the popularity of the Maggie Boyd project has inspired Carleton and the Digital Initiatives crew to continue with Pinterest and other social media after Maggie’s story ends.

The newest subject of Ohio University Libraries’ social media fame could be anyone from E.W. Scripps to Cornelius Ryan. The archives at the Libraries’ are full of exciting stories waiting to be brought back to life, so no matter who is chosen, fans and followers will be sure to enjoy.