National Archives joins Foursquare!

The National Archives and Presidential Libraries & Museums have joined Foursquare, a location-based social media network.  In order to find out why we joined let’s dive into what Foursquare is all about.

foursquare logo

Foursquare enables users to check-in and leave tips at nearby locations such as restaurants, businesses, landmarks, bars and other geographic locations from their smart phones.  Additional features include the ability to unlock tips, post shout-outs, redeem specials, and collect virtual badges.  More specific descriptions are listed next.


After you create an account with Foursquare, you will be able to view from your mobile device nearby locations that provide you with the option to “check-in”.  By checking-in, you will be notifying your friends where you are and you have an option to write a shout-out. If you check-in more times than anyone else you get the added plus of becoming the “mayor” of that establishment, which leads to our next category, receiving specials.      


Specials are coupons.  Some establishments provide the user with a coupon upon checking-in.  There are also places that offer the mayor of a store a special discount.  A good one we recently found read “The standing Mayor on July 31st will win a Vacation Package for 5.”  WOW, we want that!


Tips are exactly what the National Archives and Presidential Libraries & Museums are focusing on.  A tip is a suggestion.  It is about the size of a tweet and contains the physical location that pertains to the tip.  Foursquare users can leave tips about the places they visit, and they can receive tips based on their location from organizations they follow.


When you are out exploring your city, you could unlock “badges” by completing tasks or checking in to locations that fit into a specific theme or activity.  Examples include Adventurer, Newbie, Foodie, Local, and well, you get the picture.

What is the National Archives doing on Foursquare?

With the help of Foursquare, the National Archives is reaching out to people where they live and where they visit, by leaving tips related to NARA from coast to coast. Each tip highlights an interesting place or event related to the Archives.  In the initial launch, the National Archives is focusing on providing tips pertaining to the Washington, DC, Kansas City, and Philadelphia Archives locations. Links between the Archives and the Washington Monument, Independence Hall, Edgar Allan Poe House, US Penitentiary and many more are now available to users visiting those locations. A Foursquare user is able to walk back through time and view scenes from the motion picture, “March on Washington” while standing on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial.  The Archives is now rolling out tips through Foursquare, and we’ll continue to release new tips about the historical places behind all of the National Archives regional locations. 

What is the Presidential Libraries & Museums doing on Foursquare?

Presidential history is all around us.  From the elementary schools that our Presidents first attended, to the landmarks where famous speeches took place, the locations where Presidents have made their mark each tell a story.  To bring these stories to life in our daily lives the Presidential Libraries have partnered with Foursquare to create “Walk with the Presidents on Foursquare.”  This rich mobile resource allows users to access historic tips about locations across the nation.  Each tip has been chosen to highlight an interesting place or event related to the Presidents within the Presidential Library system.  Tips can be sent to smart phones based on user locations or viewed on the Web.  Throughout 2011, “Walk with the Presidents on Foursquare” is celebrating the Ronald Reagan Centennial through an ongoing release of tips that track the life and times of President Reagan. 

We invite you to take a walk with the Presidents and discover your nation’s history on Foursquare.  Just create a Foursquare account and follow our brand pages. 

You never know what history is waiting to be unlocked right next door!

       Link to National Archives Brand Page                 Link to Presidential Library Brand Page

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