Ask Maureen: Foreign Photos

Mel wrote: I have a photo that I believe is European, do you analyze non-US images? Actually, I do. I receive photographs from clients that live as far away as New Zealand. Family collections in the United States are a mix of images taken here and overseas. I maintain a large collection of foreign images…

Read more

Ask Maureen: Storing Photographs

Catherine wrote: I have several old paper photos that date between the late 1860s and the early 1900s. I am worried about how to store these. Is it o.k. to put these in a plastic zip-loc bag or are there other alternatives. You’re right to question the use of ordinary plastic bags. They are not…

Read more

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…

Read more

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.…

Read more

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,…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more