What Can I Do With Old, Unidentified Family Photographs? #general


Stanley and Shelda Sandler
 

Dear Genners,

A few months ago, my cousin moved to Israel. Before she left, she gave me a
true family treasure: a large box of photographs. Many of them were
shapshots taken by our aunt, of blessed memory. My cousin told me that she
could not identify the people in the photos (none were marked or dated on
the back). I was able to identify some (and immediately wrote names on the
back of those photos along with an approximate year the picture could have
been taken). I sorted the photos and mailed those I could identify to the
descendants of the subjects, who I hope were as happy with the pictures as I
was. (I made copies for myself).

Dilemma #1: I still have most of the photographs, but they are all
unidentified people. It's possible some are friends of my aunt; and
although they are deceased, their children survive. I know the surname of
my aunt's married friends; however, they bore daughters who married and I
don't know their daughters' married surnames. Understandably, I have no way
to locate them.

Dilemma #2: This may sound like an absurd question, but does anyone know of
any genealogical organizations, archives or such where I could donate the
photographs? I probably can make a fairly accurate "guesstimate" of the
approximate date of each. Perhaps there is nothing of genealogical value to
the photos; however, perhaps the style of clothing worn by the subjects may
have some historical value. And there is always an outside chance that
someone may recognize his/her ancestor.

My problem...I cannot just throw them in the trash!!! Please do not tell me
to make a bonfire and toss them into it. I cannot and will not do that!

I live in the Philadelphia, PA area; however, I am willing to contact anyone
anywhere who might have a valid interest in having these photographs.

Many thanks in advance.

Shelda Bachin Sandler
Springfield, PA

RESEARCHING: BACHIN or BAKHIN, SHAKHNOVITZ (or alternate spellings) = >from Mogilev
Gubernia, Russia to United States
APTOWITZER; APTOVITZ; APT = >from Tarnopol Gubernia (especially Zborow and
surrounding towns), Galicia to U.S.
NAJFELD (NEWELD)= >from Zawichost, Poland to U.S.
LUDZKI (LUTZ) = >from Zgierz, Poland to U.S.


rv Kaplan
 

At the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre in Glasgow, we accept donations such
as this (>from Scotland). We have folders on display at open days with
unidentified photos and sometimes people identify them. We also sometimes have
interesting group photos published in the local Jewish newspaper (which is
circulated to expats in other countries).

There might be an equivalent where you are, or an online equivalent.

Certainly wouldn't destroy them. At worst, give them to an antique shop or similar.

Harvey Kaplan
Scottish Jewish Archives Centre
Glasgow
www.sjac.org.uk

Stanley and Shelda Sandler <stanshel@...> wrote:

A few months ago, my cousin moved to Israel. Before she left, she gave me a
true family treasure: a large box of photographs. Many of them were
shapshots taken by our aunt, of blessed memory. My cousin told me that she
could not identify the people in the photos (none were marked or dated on
the back). I was able to identify some (and immediately wrote names on the
back of those photos along with an approximate year the picture could have
been taken). I sorted the photos and mailed those I could identify to the
descendants of the subjects, who I hope were as happy with the pictures as I
was. (I made copies for myself)...
Dilemma #2: This may sound like an absurd question, but does anyone know of
any genealogical organizations, archives or such where I could donate the
photographs?


André Günther
 

Hello,

you may have a bit luck with an "reverse image search engine" offered by "Google
Images" or "WWW.tineye.com". Perhaps another Person set his Family history into
Internet -documenting aunt xy´s marriage with the same photograph you have...

Quite often happened: Oh, so nice! Can I get one also?

Andre Guenther Muenchen Bavaria

"Stanley and Shelda Sandler" <stanshel@...> wrote:

A few months ago, my cousin moved to Israel. Before she left, she gave me a
true family treasure: a large box of photographs. Many of them were
shapshots taken by our aunt, of blessed memory.  My cousin told me that she
could not identify the people in the photos (none were marked or dated on the
back)...Dilemma #1: I still have most of the photographs, but they are all
unidentified people...


Erika Herzog
 

I agree wholeheartedly with the consensus that you shouldn't throw them out.

In answer to your question on advice on what to do:

I have been working on digitizing my family's photos for a while now,
I have found having the pictures in a digital format (i.e., online)
has been a very positive experience.

So if you can, I would recommend scanning the photos and putting them
onto a free Flickr account*, noting in the descriptions any pertinent
information you might have (i.e., dates, who took photo, locations,
surnames, etc.).

If you do this, I recommend setting a Creative Commons license on the
photos (http://www.flickr.com/account/prefs/license/) -- that way the
photos can be shared as you specify.... >from very restrictive use to
complete free re-use. Creative Commons licensing
(http://creativecommons.org/choose/) makes it really easy to allow for
sharing.

Photos on Flickr are also very friendly to Google search engine
optimization, so any metadata / details you add to the photos will
make them very discoverable to a huge online audience. Photos on
Flickr can also be used on Wikipedia, so if there are
location-specific towns that would be a great way to expand Wikipedia
entries of our shtetls to include photos.

It might be possible that some institutions or archives might accept
your photos and maybe digitize them for you; however, it's very easy
to scan photos nowadays (and putting them in an institution or archive
would not make them as accessible as they would be online). I think
many drugstores in the U.S. that have photo services will scan your
photos for a fee.

Depending on how many there are, I would be happy to scan them for you
and put them online. Feel free to contact me at my yahoo email address
off list.

This would be a great group project for us JewishGenners, to create an
online repository of orphan images like this. I would be very
interested in participating.

I always wonder what happens to all of our photos as we age. I worry!
I love photographs -- and really there's nothing like a physical
photograph. But maybe if the photo is digitized at least it would live
on in perpetuity in that form? I wish the Internet Archive
(http://archive.org/) provided this for photos.

*I am not affiliated with Flickr, JewishGen, Internet Archive -- these
organizations are mentioned in answer to advice of the original
poster, and as a possible open data solution for fellow JewishGen
genealogists encountering this common issue.

Erika
erika_herzog@... (my main email address)


Emily Garber
 

Stanley and Shelda Sandler <stanshel@...> wrote:
A few months ago, my cousin moved to Israel. Before she left, she gave me a
true family treasure: a large box of photographs. Many of them were
shapshots taken by our aunt, of blessed memory. My cousin told me that she
could not identify the people in the photos (none were marked or dated on
the back). I was able to identify some (and immediately wrote names on the
back of those photos along with an approximate year the picture could have
been taken).....
For help with photo identification one should consider loading some
images to Dead Fred Genealogy Photo Archive at deadfred.com

Emily Garber
Phoenix, AZ
http://www.extrayad.blogspot.com
http://www.kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/yurovshchina/index.html


Lisa Grayson <lisa@...>
 

Shelda Bachin Sandler <stanshel@...> wrote:

A few months ago, my cousin moved to Israel. Before she left, she gave
me a true family treasure: a large box of photographs. ...
My problem...I cannot just throw them in the trash!!! Please do not tell me
to make a bonfire and toss them into it. I cannot and will not do that!
---

Over twenty years ago, I received two boxes of distressed photographs
that had been in my grandparents' house. I didn't know most of the
people in them, and could only guess at their identities. But some were
clearly marked, and provided me with a trail that led to living relatives
I had never met, who, like Ms. Sandler's extended family, were
happy to receive photos >from a hitherto unknown cousin.

After scanning the originals, I donated several photographs of my grandfather's
NY home town, plus scrapbooks he had kept over 100 years ago, to a Long
Island historical society. Ms. Sandler may want to contact the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania (hsp.org) to see if their curators are interested in
the pictures.

As for the unidentified pictures, as I learned more about my family tree,
I was able to figure out who most of the people were. A year after I posted a
photo of my Berdichev g-g-grandfather to my public Ancestry site, I discovered
that someone else had posted a similar image: my g-grandmother's sister
apparently had a nearly identical photo to the one I inherited, and it had
been passed down to one of her descendants who now lives in Jerusalem!

I of course heartily second Ms. Sandler's refusal to throw the pictures
away. They are surely of value to someone, and who knows where they might lead!

Yours sincerely,
Lisa Grayson
Chicago, Illinois USA

Researching: MARUCHES, FINK, ROSENTHAL in Vilna, Moletai, Grodno,
Sopotskin, =D6zery, Liverpool; LEVIN in Grodno; HIRSCHBERG in Vilna and
Grodno; GOLDMAN in Danzig/Gdansk; ROSENBLOOM in Liverpool; ROSEN and
ROSENKRANTZ in Warsaw; BARMON in Lipno and Rypin; WEINER in Berdichev;
GOLDBERG in Berdichev and Kiev


Erika Herzog
 

To follow up on this thread I set up a Flickr account for anyone who
is interested in uploading orphan photos they have scanned. The name
of the account is Digital.PhotoRepository.

Option 1: You can email photos to flickr yourself by sending them to
the following unique email address.

field61dogs@...

Option 2: Or you can send them off list to photo.digitalrepository@...

Option 3: If scanning is too much of a problem you can mail them to me
and I can scan them and upload them to Flickr. I guess I will just
keep the photos and add them to my personal "archive."

All photos will have a creative commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons license
automatically applied.

These images will be google searchable.

This repository is meant to be for orphan photos who have no home and
is in response to Shelda's posting here.

Please contact me at erika_herzog@... if you have any questions
or concerns.

This is a one-time post of information about a volunteer service I am
offering. I have no affiliation with any of the services listed here.

Erika Herzog

MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately. This post is for informational
purposes only. Thanks to Erika for her offer.