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5000Clues in Old Photographs - additional information from last night's talk

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  • Marion L. Peterson
    May 8, 2007

      Hello everyone


      Thank you for the kind comments from those who enjoyed my presentation last evening.


      Charlie Hansen brought to my attention an excellent website about this topic: http://www.trentu.ca/admin/library/archives/historyofphotography.htm


      I had requests for the poem I used for my beginning. I do not know its source. If anyone is aware of who wrote it, let me know, and I’ll send out another email to give credit.


      Strangers In the Box


      Come, look with me inside this drawer,

      In this box I’ve often seen,

      At the pictures, black and white,

      Faces proud, still, and serene.


      I wish I knew the people,

      These strangers in the box,

      Their names and all their memories,

      Are lost among my socks.


      I wonder what their lives were like,

      How did they spend their days?

      What about their special times?

      I’ll never know their ways.


      If only someone had taken time,

      To tell who, what, where and when

      These faces of my heritage

      Would come to life again.


      Could this become the fate

      Of the pictures we take today?

      The faces and the memories,

      Someday to be passed away?


      Take time to save your stories

      Seize the opportunity when it knocks

      Or someday you and yours

      Could be the strangers in the box.


      I also apologize for not having enough copies of my handout. Here are my hints and suggested resources:

      1. Protect the original
      2. Use a worksheet
      3. Ask other relatives
      4. Identify the type of photograph
      5. Identify the photographer
      6. Check the scene / background
      7. Look for clothing and hairstyle clues
      8. Look for distinctive features
      9. Compare with family information




      Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs by Maureen A. Taylor (CPL)

      Unlocking the Secrets in Old Photographs by Karen Frisch-Ripley (AFHS Library)

      Dating Old Photographs by Robert Pols (AFHS Library)

      Looking at Old Photographs by Robert Pols (AFHS Library)

      Dating Nineteenth Century Photographs by Robert Pols (AFHS Library)

      Dating Twentieth Century Photographs by Robert Pols (AFHS Library)

      More Dating Old Photographs 1840-1929 by Maureen Taylor (AFHS Library)

      Dressed for the Photographer by Joan Severa (U of C Library)








      Types of Photographs:






      Clothing Clues:








      Marion Peterson

      Chairperson of the Program Committee

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