Ask Maureen: Faded Document Fixes

Alex wrote: A friend of mine has her forebear’s original certificate of membership in the Society of the Cincinnati signed by George Washington. Washington’s signature is so faded, it is almost gone. How can his signature be restored and preserved? There are several steps you can take to enhance the signature on a document. In…

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Ask Maureen: Photocopying Pictures

  Barbara asked: Does photocopying recent photographs damage the pictures? Is there an alternative for our library patrons who want to copy materials from our small collection? Photocopying exposes all types of images to intense light, heat, and chemicals. A single photocopy shouldn’t cause noticeable damage. I would not advise repeat copying of any image.…

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A Veteran’s Day Tribute

My Dad, James William Taylor, Jr., was a man of few words. When you’d ask him a direct question you’d rarely get a full answer. Towards the end of his life he spent a day mentioning 1943. I don’t know why. He really didn’t want to talk about it. Like so many of his generation,…

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What’s New Is Old and Old is New? Women and the Presidency

Hilary Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro, Sarah Palin, and Victoria Woodhull. Woodhull?? You might not know that way back in 1872, The Equal Rights Party nominated her for President on May 10, 1872. That’s about half a century before women were awarded the right to vote. According to a Wikepedia article on Woodhull, former slave Frederick Douglass…

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Today Show News

This morning my phone rang and a friend said, “Are you the Maureen Taylor just mentioned on the Today Show?” Uh, yes I replied. I’d missed it! Earlier this year a producer from the Today Show contacted me to ask if I was the genealogist that researched Meredith Vieira’s family tree for a segment on…

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Nineteenth Century Waifs

The images are haunting. Children in rags looking bedraggled from living on the streets. Irishman Dr. Thomas Barnardo saw the poverty and neglect in these children’s faces and did something about it. He opened his first home for these children in 1870 and by 1905, it’s estimated he rescued 60,000 kids. His work continues with…

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Closet Clutter and Photographs

The other day my daughter was looking for an outfit to wear in a school play so she started digging through my closet. She pulled out a blouse and said, “How old is this?” I looked at it and thought, “It’s time to clean the closet.” It was practically paleolithic. Looking at that item also…

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Throw Out Your Photos! OMG

I just can’t believe it. An article titled Feng Shui Your Photos in the Imperial Valley (CA) News, advises folks to scan all their pictures and discard them. The scanning message is basically sound advice, but only if the author had included a few tidbits about scanning formats and resolution. You should scan images as…

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Honor Your Mothers on Sunday: Label Your Photographs

If you’re looking for a way to honor the women in your family tree start by labeling your photographs. Paper photos can easily be captioned on the back (never write on the front of a photograph) using a soft lead pencil. Those resin-coated images from the 1960s to the present require a Zig marker. I’ve…

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Wall Street Journal News!

Have you seen the Wall Street Journal today? If not, take a look at the front page of the Weekend Journal section. Journalist Alexandra Alter spent three months alternately interviewing me, my clients and colleagues for a story on my Photo Detective business. I was able to convey to the reporter how important photo history…

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