Picnooga is the very first crowdsourced history collection of physical and digital objects in Chattanooga or anywhere. 

Since January 2014, our mission has been to bring Chattanooga history to the surface and make it available to everyone.  This archive is a vision that took over four years to realize, although we’ve shared thousands of images through Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, reaching millions of desktops and eyeballs around the world since.

Peeling back the undiscovered layers

There is a lot of idle history put away in old trunks, boxes, attics, and basements.  It’s what we refer to as the shoebox layer, and once saved and cherished memories are often in danger of being forgotten, damaged, or discarded.  As time passes, we can disconnect with the faces and places in photographs. Picnooga digs deep with a purpose to share, preserve, and put old images in their place with local history.

Crowdsourcing deeper stories

“History is a kind of introduction to more interesting people than we can possibly meet in our restricted lives; let us not neglect the opportunity.” -Dexter Perkins

A photograph can often evoke a memory.  For the past four years, storytelling through public response has been a valuable byproduct of our activities.  The information or metadata that is attached to each object is continuously subject to a more complete and detailed description. Therefore, items in our collection do not sit underappreciated.  We often revisit every object searching for its expanded story.  That’s where your engagement is critical to help provide clues to unlocking a complete narrative.  At the bottom of each unique object page is a comments section where you can leave a response.  Or, click the “Ask a question” button on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.

Our collecting focus

Our focus is both on digital and physical objects. You might notice that we also have a lot of old paper ephemera items, in addition to photographs.  Paper is a valuable witness to history and offers details to events that often are forgotten.  We also have a small collection of 3D items.  They will be slowly introduced to this online collection later in 2018.

How can you help…

The majority of our financial support comes from the public through crowdfunding. But we’ve also run into project sponsorship opportunities from The UNFoundation, EPB, River City Company, and Epson.

We need your continued support to grow. Please click here and give a gift of $10 or more to help sustain Picnooga’s future cataloging and preservation efforts.

Free. Open. Accessible.

F.O.A. is the foundation of Picnooga. Even if you cannot or choose not to financially support this project, our resources are always free, open, and accessible to everyone.