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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Ask Maureen: Pictures on Fabric

Claire wrote: I have only one photograph of my grandfather and it is printed on textile. It is currently being stored the same way I received it, rolled up in plastic and inserted in a cardboard tube. Oh Claire! I also have a photograph on cloth. It’s my grandmother. While storing the image in plastic…

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Looking for Pictures: Check Out Historical Society Publications

A couple of months ago I visited the Indiana Historical Society and created a short video of their Destination Indiana project. You can view it on my YouTube Channel. As I was leaving members of the staff handed me a small packet of their publications. On the cover of Connections, The Hoosier Genealogist (Fall/Winter 2008)was…

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Ask Maureen: Storing Different Materials Together

Shirley wrote: How can I store my photos properly? It’s actually easier than you might think. It’s possible to follow the basic rules of archival storage in your home. Here’s a few things to remember. Back in the old days, when I was a photo curator we had a basic rule. Never mix different types…

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My Dad Would Be Surprised

Last summer I researched and wrote an article on the history of wallpaper for the Daughters of the American Revolution magazine, American Spirit. The story, “Repeating Patterns: Wallpaper in Early American Homes” appeared in the November/December 2008 issue. My interest in wallpaper is a familial thing. My family had a wallpapering business back in the…

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Ask Maureen: Prints from Slides

T.J. emailed me to ask, “Where can I have prints made from slides?” It’s one of those modern picture problems. Just about every family has boxes and carousel’s full of slides. Now that slide projectors are difficult to find, what a family to do with all those slides? You can scan them yourself if you…

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Ask Maureen: Photo Reunions

Patience wrote: I found a stack of quite good portrait photos from the late 1800’s – mostly from California but also from NY, Minnesota, Indiana. Only a very few have names of whose photo it is – but almost all of them have the name of the photography studio. What would be the best way…

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Ask Maureen: Scanning Surprises

On a recent trip, a client showed me black and white scans of some tintypes. Recently he emailed me to say he’d scanned the images in color. To his surprise the scanning highlighted the fact that the photographer had colored some of the details. He wrote to ask if that was possible. The answer is…

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Ask Maureen: Faded Handwritten Captions

Jim wrote: “I have an 1884 photo of my gg grandfather and grandmother with 2 of their children. On the back of the photo I can see some written impressions of names possibly. The pencil marks have long since worn away. Can you suggest a process that I might highlight the pencil impressions so that…

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Civil War Women

There is a new book on women in the Civil War and this one doesn’t talk about their contributions on the home front. Anita Silvey’s I’ll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War (Clarion, 2008), explores how some women dressed as men and joined the war effort. It’s meant for children, but it…

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