Updated: Jan 12
By Elizabeth Gracen:
Instagram is my favorite social media platform, hands down. I'm a visual person, so the IG feed is like a candy store for me. I'm always attracted to the accounts that show a real passion for the subject they post. That's why I started THE FEED—a deeper dive into some of the accounts I find along the way that catch my eye and capture my fancy. I simply reach out and ask if they might tell me a bit more about themselves and why they post what they post. It's a fascinating luck of the draw that never disappoints me.
This month I would like you to meet @historicaldarlings.
EG: Your IG feed is really mysterious and so eclectic! Please tell our readers your name, a little bit about yourself, and why you curated this particular account on IG.
HD: Hi, I’m Grace, and I started this account in May 2019 to basically just share old photos that I thought were just fun and cool. At that point, I’d just seen history accounts on Instagram that were more academic and all seemingly focused on just one theme/area, so I just wanted to create a bit more a lighthearted space of fun and weird photos! I mostly just did it for me to have a curated space of photos I love, I never expected so many other people to appreciate this too!
EG: What attracts you to the past? Do you think it’s important to look back and examine our history?
HD: I’ve always loved history and collecting old things from a young age. I think looking back at the past is important, it’s the only way we can understand the present. The main aspect of history really is context, to understand why things happened and then to understand why things are the way they are now. But I also just love to see what things were like back in the day and what people got up to. Social history is my favorite sort of area—just people's history, really.
EG: Your interest is vast in terms of the images you curate—your account states that the images you share cover Victorian to 1990s. Is there a common thread that connects all of these images or are you just innately curious?!
HD: I’m just curious, yes! At first I only wanted to shared photos up to about the 1940s, I wanted to keep it to older stuff, but I love all time periods in history, especially in the 20th century, as each decade seemed so different to the last in terms of fashions and music, so I opened it up to much later in the century. A common sort of thread is that I mostly don't like to share bigger, serious history and instead just show everyday people living their lives.
EG: Where do you find your images, and how do you decide what to post?
HD: I mostly find my images on Pinterest, actually, but also sometimes from books that I have or on websites. I sometimes share posts of actual old photographs I have that I’ve bought in antique shops. I love to find and collect old photos! It’s a great window to the past.
EG: From the text that accompanies the images it appears as though you do a bit of research on each photo. Do you take deep dives into various subjects when you find them? Are you a history buff in general?
HD: I am a history buff, yeah, and I’m also in my final year of university completing a history degree! So I do try and do a bit of research to try and understand the photo a bit better and to give it some background. I sometimes get carried away and end up finding a whole bunch of other posts to share too.
I don’t know why really, but I’ve just always been interested in the past from a young age and love to see what people got up to in the past.
EG: You also have another account, @hollywoodspast. Tell us a bit about that account and the images that live there.
HD: Yes, I started that account earlier this year to have a separate space for film history, as that is another big interest of mine. I’m also doing my dissertation on the Hollywood film industry in the 1920s and 1930s, so it seemed fitting to just carve out a separate place for this sort of history.
I like to share a lot of behind the scenes photos from film sets that people may not have seen before as well as older Hollywood history that may be less known.
EG: Tell me a bit about some of your favorite posts and why you chose them.
HD: I love more "real" photos of just normal people living their lives, and I love candid photos and old photo-booth photos too. People sometimes also send me some of their old family photos, which is always lovely to share.