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Got a Photo-Related Question?

I’m working on new lectures and need your help.  Audience feedback is important to those of us that speak before groups.  We need to know what you’d like to learn.  There is sometimes a difference between what I’d like to teach and what the audience would like to hear. Perhaps you’ve heard one of my…

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How Does Your Family Tree Grow?

Last Saturday I sat with a small group of children (plus a grandmother and two mothers) to chat about family trees and family history. The kid-sized table in the Children’s Department of the Providence Athenaeum, a library with roots back to 1836, was covered with tree cutouts.  All over the table were art supplies–markers, paper,…

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Ask Maureen: Ambrotype Marks

Merry wrote in with a question about marks on an ambrotype: I’m doing some photo detective work of my own–if I have a cased, sealed ambrotype with a stamped mat (E.R. Perkins), can I assume that the photographer was probably the person stamped on the mat? That might help me narrow down where the picture…

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Lost Pictures: Looking for 1887 Wedding Picture

I love this column. Brian Nichols wrote for help. He’s looking for an 1887 wedding picture. Here’s his story: My great-grandfather was a traveling cigar salesman from St. Louis. On December 7, 1887 my great-grandmother, Adelia, left her family’s farm in Wisconsin and eloped to Canton, South Dakota Territories with great-grandpa Frank A. Nichols. Two…

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Ask Maureen: Postcard Help

Bridget wrote with following question: I have a photo of my grandfather when he was between the ages of 5 and 11 in Dublin, Ireland. It is a postcard type, however, I was more curious about his clothing. How do I narrow down the time frame using his clothing? Apparently I have been doing this…

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Ask Maureen: Photocopy Woes

Will wrote with two questions: Some 15 years ago, someone in the family lost the lone original of a cherished family photo from 1880. We have the photocopy in black and white. First, could this be turned back into a negative (albeit an inferior one) and reprinted using antique sepia techniques from similar family photo’s…

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Ask Maureen: Misidentified Online Image

Clydette sent me a question with a online component. Someone in her family has posted a picture on a website, but it’s identified incorrectly. She needs to convince her relative that the caption is wrong. If I were in a similar situation, I’d start by compiling evidence including photographs of the person mentioned in the…

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Lost Pictures: Copies in the Family

This summer my mother-in-law showed me a photograph that commemorated the 50th anniversary of her great-grandparents. She asked if I could have a look and compare it to another photo of a smaller family group. Could I match up any of the people in the two photos? I love a challenge so I said, “Of…

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