Moments frozen in time. . .
. . . photographs of children splashing in a pond, family gathered for a birthday or holiday, a leather-dressed man on an antiquated motorcycle, a family home…..
The people who have old family photographs such as these often take them for granted. Those who do not would pay a premium to get them.
On Granite Gumbo, Rick says “the closest thing to real time travel is to look at the faces in old photographs” (and I concur). Photographs are as important to genealogy as birth certificates. They are windows through which you and I can gain a glimpse into our family’s faces, habits and interesting traits.
If you are not fortunate enough to have inherited your family’s photos, there are several sources available:
1. Whether it be your family tree, an event in history of a place in New Hampshire, you simply must visit the Tuck Library of the New Hampshire Historical Society. They have a collection of 250,000 images which you can search through by name or subject. They also have online samplers of photographs and stereographs.
2. The Genealogue and Genealogy Web Sites I Don’t Hate genius, Chris Dunham, likes the DeadFred.com Genealogy Photo Archive. I’m amazed at the number, quality, and indexing skills used to make the site fully searchable.
3. American Memory, a web site created by the Library of Congress, is probably one of the most understated sources of photographs. You can search all of the collections (photographs, documents, etc.) quickly and easily, using the name of a person, place or event. Browsing collections by selected topics is also an option.
4. If Civil War photographs are your passion, then you visit that specific section of the online collection, which contains 1,118 photographs.
5. Local web sites, especially those of historical societies, will often include photographs of people….
6. Use the Google search engine, and type in the name of your ancestor, then select the “Images” link… you may just end up looking into the face of your great-grandmother…
Confused about the different types of old photographs, and how to date them? Check out “Historic Photography: Identification and Preservation”