The Clio App: Discovering History With Your Phone

Disclaimer: This post might contain affiliate links, which means we get a small commission if you make a purchase (at no extra cost to you).

For many travelers, a smartphone is an essential tool for finding places to explore, communicating with friends, and sharing experiences. One app we love to use is Clio, which guides users to thousands of historic sites across the United States.

Why We Love to Use the Clio App When Traveling

Clio is free

Clio is completely free – no in-app purchases or memberships. We love that this makes history accessible to anyone with a smartphone (or with a computer – there is a web version as well!) All you have to do is download and start exploring!

Clio is a nonprofit

Clio is a nonprofit organization founded by a history professor at Marshall University in West Virginia. Since founded in 2013, Clio has received support from major granting agencies like the National Endowment for the Humanities, Whiting Foundation, and Knight Foundation, along with other generous donors. Grant money helps develop projects, support paid volunteers and interns, and upgrade technologies.

Clio finds historic sites for you

When you open the app, Clio picks up your GPS location and finds nearby historic places. These sites may be historic sites, buildings, memorials, monuments, markers, art pieces, museums, galleries, and even the locations of historic events. Each site has a Clio entry that includes a short history, pictures, links to interesting websites, books, and videos. Most importantly, the Clio entry provides an address (or general location) so you can visit the site in person.

Clio tours help you make a day of exploring history

Another fun aspect of Clio is the walking tours and heritage trails. Tours are a convenient way to visit multiple sites, usually centered around a theme. Like Clio entries, Clio tours can be discovered by searching your location or a topic of interest. We love the Women’s History Tour of Washington, D.C. and the Industrial History of Harpers Ferry Walking Tour. You can also make your own!

Clio is made by history enthusiasts

Clio has 30,000 entries across the United States – and every one has been made by a volunteer contributor. Anyone can sign up for an account and begin adding historic sites to Clio’s growing database. Or, you can improve entries that are already there. Clio is a crowdsourced platform that utilizes the knowledge and enthusiasm of history lovers across the country. Many universities use Clio in classrooms to teach writing and research skills, while a number of museums have used Clio as part of exhibits and tours.

This post was written by Everywhere Forward blogger and Clio AmeriCorps member, Pam. This post was not sponsored – we just love Clio!

Like this post? Give it a share!

Similar Posts