Posts Tagged ‘photographs’

Taking a stroll down memory lane this summer?

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Most of us have them, those boxes of old family photographs gathering dust in our basements, attics or where ever we tend to put things that we will “deal with later!”  The problem is of course, the longer you wait to sort them, the older they get.  It may not seem that long ago, but even those Polaroids from the ‘60’s are probably looking a bit the worse for wear by now.  At least there is a pretty good chance that you may actually know who the people in those photos are, but what about those really old family pictures that go way back, some as far as c.1900?  Chances are you’re a bit fuzzy on just exactly where the people in these photographs hang in your family tree. Knowing the date the picture was taken might help solve the mystery, but if you aren’t even sure of that, where do you go from there.  There is also the question of conservation, especially for those really old photographs.  How do you ensure that they are preserved for future generations? 

Our library collection, located at North York Central Library, contains several great resources to help you manage your family photographs.  Here are just a few to get you started: 

1. Dating old photographs, 1840-1929

Morris, Andrew J.: Moorshead, Halvor;

Call # 929.3 Dating 2004

2. Dating twentieth century photographs. 

Pols, Robert

Call # 929.3 Pols 2005

3. Preserving your family photographs. 

Taylor, Maureen A

 Call # 770.285 Tayl

4. Understanding old photographs. 

Pols, Robert

Call # 929.3 Pols 1995

5. Photography for the genealogist. 

Jonasson, Eric

Call # 770.28 Jonas

6. Photography for family historians. 

Pols, Robert

Call # 929.3 Pols 1998

7. The Ontario photographers list: vol.1, 1851-1900:vol. 2, 1901-1925. 

Phillips, Glen C.

Call #929.3 713 Phill

8. The early commercial photographers of Lanark & Renfrew Counties, Ontario 1850-1925. 

Wohler, J. Patrick; Wohler, Judy,

Call # 929.3 713 81

9. The Hugill Chronicles – a mosaic: father and son photographers, 1860-1900. Muskoka/Ingersoll, Ontario. 

Gibson, David L.

Call # 929.2 Hugill –G

Figuring out your photos at the library

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

We all have them, those photos full of strangers who might be our relatives…or maybe just their friends. The Ontario Genealogical Society has amassed such a collection of mystery photos, we’ve even started a Lost Photographs Service.

But we also have books to help you at least sort out WHEN these photos were taken even if they are less helpful in letting you figure out WHO is in them.

Dating Old Photographs, 1840 – 1929 and More Dating Old Photographs, 1840 – 1929
By Andrew J Morris, published by Family Chronicle Magazine
These two volumes show examples of photos from different time periods allowing you to compare your mystery photos with the clothing and hairstyles of the dated photos.
The second volume has an introduction by Maureen Taylor, noted conference speaker and author of Preserving Your Family Photographs

Dating Twentieth Century Photographs ~ By Robert Pols, Published by the Federation of Family History Societies.
This book focuses on photography in the 20th century and offers tips for dating photos with regards to the evolution of film technology, fashion, and changing trends in photography practices.
It includes dating charts to help the reader date their own photos. Some of the information supplied is very England centric.

Understanding Old Photographs ~ By Robert Pols, published by Boyd Publications.
This publication goes in to more depth about photographs. The process of sitting for a photo is explained as well as details of the creation of the item itself. The book also suggests ways to analyse photos in order to determine more about the people in them than just when they lived.

Photography for Family Historians ~ by Robert Pols
Now that you’ve sorted out your mystery photos, this book gives advice on how to become a great photographer and take family history photos of your own. It also suggests methods to document your photos and details to include in your descriptions so you avoid leaving mystery photos to your descendants.

Find these books and more by searching the Library Catalogue

On Our Website: Lost Photographs

Monday, July 26th, 2010
web address graphic

Image courtesy: Renjith krishnan, link below

Do you know who any of these people are?

Most genealogists experience it, and many may consider it to be the worst sort of brick wall there is: a mystery photo.

Photos are beautiful souvenirs of the past. Photos of your ancestors can breathe life into the story of your family drawing it out of the flat world of dates and life events and making you feel more strongly connected to your ancestors than you otherwise might feel.

But a photo full of strangers who may or may not be part of your family can be a very frustrating thing to encounter.

Luckily, OGS operates a lost photo service. If you have unwanted photos of unknown people, send them to us. We will archive them and occasionally publish them in hopes of reuniting the lost photo with its family.

Come check out our lost photographs page and see if you recognize anyone. You may help someone else escape their mystery photo nightmare.

Image: renjith krishnan /