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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, November 03, 2008
What Does the Future Hold For Your Family Photographs?
Posted by Maureen

I saw a very sad sight yesterday. I attended an collectibles show and saw a collection of daguerreotypes for sale. The mournful moment came when I realized that every single one of these images was identified.

As you probably know, daguerreotypes date from 1839 to the early 1860s. The majority of these images were from the 1850s. I really didn't want to leave them on the table, but at close to $1,000, the cost was too high for my budget. 

As a genealogist, you're aware that skills honed researching family back in time also can be used to track family forward. It's part of the whole orphan photo movement to reunite folks with their "lost" family pictures.

I purchased a couple of identified cabinet cards at the show and will try to reconnect them with relatives. I'll post my progress on this blog.

It broke my heart to see all those images sitting in that box. I see it all the time and it never gets any easier. The big question is: What's going to happen to your photos? Have you identified someone in your family to take care of your archive?

Before your pictures end up in a dumpster or split up at an antique show, start thinking about their future. Then write it down. Make sure your executor has a copy of the document so the collection you've cared for doesn't become someone's instant ancestors. 

In the words of one dealer: "I keep what I can sell and throw away the rest."  This was in response to my request for matrimonial images. Yup! They weren't worth saving. 

If you've reconnected a photo with a long-lost relative, please add your story to the Comments section. Each one of those reunion tales is heartwarming. Can't wait to hear from you!


preserving photos
Monday, November 03, 2008 7:45:53 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [8]