Thursday, January 2, 2014

Photographs - Absolutely Valuable Tools in Writing Family History


"The Art of Biography
Is different from Geography.
Geography is about Maps,
But Biography is about Chaps."

In Biography for Beginners, 1905

Footnote  (1)

Photographs can be a great way to get started on your project. The photographs may give you clues about the person,  but remember that if you are producing a book you may need to limit your photos – so select the most important ones to use.  But do not destroy any photos – preserve them.  You may change your mind about those which you have selected, or you may be able to use more than you originally decided.

On New Year’s Eve just gone, I was looking for a folder of information and found a folder of old photographs of my father.  I had honestly forgotten I had them – but they were neatly in a folder in the filing cabinet. 

I realised that I had to scan and copy them – just in case they got lost. Also I could then distribute them to other family members who might be interested. I note that my father had typed on a sticker which he had attached to the back of each photograph, details about the people and the date the photo was taken.  My father was quite meticulous in his documentation – something he took to new heights when he retired. 

He did teach himself to type, but never tried a computer.  He wrote many letters, not just to me, but his grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Some of which we still have.

So, one of my tasks is to scan, copy and save the photographs, and then I will put them on a memory stick to share with other family members.

Not everyone is interested in family history.  In my family I have some older and younger members who have absolutely no interest in family history - and think those of us who do, are a bit weird.  I like being this weird!!!!

Keep a folder of the photos of your person of interest – and don’t forget to write something about them.  A good idea might be to number them, and create a file in say, Word, where you write the details and record the details with the number.
My mother and father on their wedding day, Adelaide, September 11th, 1943
Footnote  1   Quote from Wikipedia   

(I am still keeping up with the Diary of a House Sitter and Traveller Blog.)


London Unattached Travel Blog said...

I'm following a blog of a friend of mine who writes quite complex stories of her family (going right back to the middle ages!) Her photos are wonderful at bringing it all to life so I do agree!

Karin Copperwood said...

Being adopted I have a fascination with all things family history. I adore pictures, such as the one of your parents on their wedding day, and often find myself looking at vintage photos of complete strangers wondering about their life story. That is a wonderful idea, copying and sharing the photos with family members. Great project! Happy New Year!

peter petterson said...

Scan, copy and save photographs. good idea Di.

Di Hill said...

Thank you visitors to my blog.

Lil Bookworm said...

A picture tells a thousand words. Good idea Di, i may need to find time to scan those precise old photos into digital format!

Di Hill said...

Hello LilBookworm - thank you for visiting. It is a good idea to pile about 20 photos to scan and do in a sitting. Set up a new file for the photos. I suggest sending the file to a sibling if they are on the internet. My sister is not one to do internet, so I will post her a few sheets of paper with them on, and send a disc to her daughter, who is much smarter!! At least they will have a copy!