Photographs as Family History, Part 3

It’s the eleventh month of the year… do you know where your photographs are? And more importantly, can you identify them? Can your children or grandchildren identify them? This month’s tip sheet includes advice on the best way to label your photos.

Identifying your printed photographs:
Labelling your photographs correctly makes identifying the people and places easier for family members who may not remember the details, or weren’t there when the photo was taken.
  • Labelling photos: if the photos already have names or dates written on the back, leave them as they are.
  • The best labelling tool is a soft (“B” or “2B”) lead pencil. If the backs of the photos are too glossy for pencil, use an odorless, waterproof, permanent soft-tip, archival marker. Both are available at stationery or art supply stores.
  • Don’t use ball point or regular markers – they can leave an indent, smudge, or bleed through to the other side. Make sure your writing is fully dry before stacking photos!
“There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.” Ursula LeGuin.

In a 2013 article in The Atlantic, Elaine Reese, Professor of Psychology in New Zealand, writes that children “hear and read stories from books to become part of other people’s worlds, and they hear and tell stories of their family to understand who they are and from whence they came.

Tell your stories to your children and grandchildren, and preserve them for future generations with a Video Biography.

Next month: proper storage of your photographs.

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