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by Maureen A. Taylor

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# Monday, April 14, 2014
Donating a Piece of History
Posted by Maureen

Now that Yvette LaGonterie knows that the mystery photo discovered in her grandparents' house doesn't show her family members, she asked me for advice on donating the image.

The man in the family portrait LaGonterie found is Rev. George Frazier Miller, one of the founding members of the Niagara Movement, the predecessor of the NAACP.

This is a question I'm asked on a fairly regular basis.  If you decide you'd like to pass on a photographic bit of history, first find an appropriate facility. Yvette wondered if she should donate the image to Howard University. Rev. Miller graduated from Howard.

It's a good idea to call a library, historical society or archive first to see if it would be interested in your donation. So I called and spoke with woman who works with prints and photographs at the university. She would love to have the photo in the university collection, but there's a gift process that's pretty typical when an organization considers accepting donated material:
  • Staff would like to meet with Yvette, either over the phone or in person (if she's in the area). It's important to discuss all the details of the prospective gift.
  • Archivists and librarians want to see the condition of the original.  This can also be done virtually using a scan of the photo.
  • The next step is for the library to draw up a deed of gift that outlines everything discussed.
  • Once the parties sign the deed of gift, the university receives a copy and so does the donor.
It looks like Yvette's picture will have another home. <smile>  Have you ever donated items to a historical or genealogical society?  Please share your experiences in the comment section below.


Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album

  • 1900-1910 photos | photo news
    Monday, April 14, 2014 4:27:15 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [2]
    Friday, April 18, 2014 4:07:07 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
    Several years ago, since I was on many genealogy sites, someone recognized the name I had posted when they bought a box of documents in a yard sale. Sure enough, it belonged by my 4th great grandbather on my mom's mothers side. They offered it to me for what they paid plus postage - about $30.00. The box contained a ledger from the family farm (the prices of things like nails was amazing!), primers from my gfather's elementary school days, and of his future wife, and the real find, a deed book that went back to the very old days of Lancaster County, Pa. with signatures of most of the counties founders who had sold the family wood or supplies over the years, as well as the signature of my gggrandfather when he paid the deed on his land. Anyhow, I contacted my Martin relative who has been compiling family history, and we decided since it was my branch, I should decide what to do with it. I donated it to the Mennonite Historical Society of Lancaster County. They sent a very nice letter and it is now in their collection for anyone searching early Pennsylvania roots. It just didn't belong in a box in my attic.
    Ingrid Briles
    Saturday, May 31, 2014 8:34:32 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
    Now your family history goes where you do. A fun, simple way to discover and share your family history, the family tree template app is the latest, and possibly greatest, tool for exploring and sharing your full family Tree story.
    Comments are closed.