History you can follow: Instagram accounts about Pittsburgh History

Meet some of the Pittsburghers who are bringing history to Instagram. 

by Lindsay Patross
April 16, 2021

Are you interested in learning local history? Do you like looking at old photos? Have you ever looked at an old photo and wanted to learn more about what is in the frame? You are not alone. From archivists to preservationists to historians, these Pittsburghers are sharing photos and history on their Instagram accounts.


Greater Hazelwood Historical Society of Pittsburgh @HazelwoodHistory

Founded by JaQuay Edward Carter, the Greater Hazelwood Historical Society of Pittsburgh is dedicated to preserving and sharing history from the 15207 zip code. Hazelwood sits along the Monogahela River and was the site of a steel mill until 1998. Take a listen to our interview with JaQuay to learn more about Hazelwood.


Civil War Pittsburgh @CivilWarPittsburgh

Rich Condon shares Pittsburgh Civil War history through the @CivilWarPittsburgh Instagram account. To learn more about some of the Civil War sites in Lawrenceville, take a listen to our interview with Rick here and check out this story Rich wrote for us about how Pittsburgh shut down the city during the 1800s.


Brian Butko @BrianButko

Brian is an author who has written several books about Pittsburgh places. He is also the editor of the Western Pennsylvania History Magazine that is published by the Sen. John Heinz History Center. We caught up with Brian to learn more about a lion attack in Oakland in 1907.

Brian’s Instagram account features photos of local signage and roadside signs from across the county.

You might be interested in checking out some of Brian’s books:

  • 📕 “Diners of Pennsylvania” 2011- Bookshop.org, Amazon
  • 📕 “Greetings from the Lincoln Highway: A Road Trip Celebration of America’s First Coast-To-Coast Highway” 2019 – Bookshop.org, Amazon


Charles Succop @PittsburghHistory

Charles Succop works in the City of Pittsburgh archives. He runs 3 different Instagram accounts on local history (more on those below). The @PittsburghHistory account shares some of the lesser-known stories of Pittsburgh history. One of the posts is a fascinating story about Thomas Edison and Henry Ford making a stop in Pittsburgh and playing games with some local boy scouts in Squirrel Hill.


Archives & Special Collections at the University of Pittsburgh @PittArchives

This Instagram account shares photos and stories from the University of Pittsburgh library archives, including some images from the George A. Romero Archives, which are now located at Pitt.


Pittsburgh Then and Now @PghThenAndNow

The @pghthenandnow account shows photos of a particular place or intersection throughout time. If you want to know what used to be in the building where Square Cafe is located in East Liberty, check out this photo gallery on the @pghthenandnow Instagram account.


Doors Open Pittsburgh @DoorsOpenPGH

Doors Open Pittsburgh is a nonprofit organization that hosts tours of historic buildings and neighborhoods. Since the pandemic, they have been holding a great series of online lectures about Pittsburgh history. Follow @DoorsOpenPGH on Instagram for some behind-the-scenes photos, Pittsburgh history facts and previews of upcoming events. (And we love their hashtag #benebby!)


Historical Dilettante @Historical_Dilettante

Sue Morris shares untold stories of Pittsburgh’s history on her blog The Historical Dilettante. Don’t miss her profile on the Pittsburgh Natatorium, an ornate indoor pool that was located Downtown and was demolished in 1935. Check out our story on Sue Morris to learn more about her research.


Vintage PGH @vintagePGH

Felix Strater started this Instagram account to share some historic photos of the University of Pittsburgh campus. The account has continued to share vintage photos from Pittsburgh. Check out our story on the Vintage PGH Instagram account to learn more about how sharing photos has helped Felix with his post-college career.


Pittsburgh Modern Committee @PittsburghModernCommittee

This is a committee of Preservation Pittsburgh that is dedicated to modern architecture and art around Pittsburgh.


Chatham Archives @ChathamArchives

The Chatham University Archives features some information on famous alums as well as some photos and history of the homes and buildings around the campus.


Sewickley Valley Historical Society @sewickley_valley_history

The Sewickley Valley Historical Society uses Instagram to share historic photos of the area and some impressive items from their archives.


Heinz History Center @HistoryCenter

This Instagram account is a nice mix of local photos and items from the archives. We appreciate the nod to the movie Flashdance in their recent post.


Hidden Houses of Pittsburgh @HiddenHousesofPGH

Historian and archivist Charles Succop uses this Instagram account to share photos of houses that have been adapted to other uses. There are some interesting buildings hiding behind some familiar storefronts.

Pittsburgh born and raised, Lindsay has been writing about the people who love Pittsburgh since 2008.

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