May 30, 2013
An Orphaned Antique Photo Album Comes Home With Me
Maude M. Kirby
Of course I couldn't leave it in the antique store so it came home with me. This morning I started documenting and archiving.
It's a large album, 8 1/2x12 inches. I haven't counted the pages or the photos yet but it's 2" thick.
Archiving and documenting takes me a long time. I start with taking camera photos of every page. Then I upload them to Dropbox (cloud storage) so I have an immediate backup.
After I have taken pictures of all the pages as they are, I start to record each page. I do that by slowly and carefully removing the photo(s) on each page and writing down all the information found - photographer's name and location, type of photo (CDV, Cabinet Card, tintype, etc) If there is any handwritten notation on the photo I record that too.
Then I assign a number to each photo. That goes along with whatever name I give the album, in this case, KIRBY. I shorten this to 3 letters for my inventory/naming system. So the first photo in this album will be KIR-1 and I record this lightly in pencil on the reverse of the photo.
As an added surprise several of the photos had other photos tucked underneath. While I still have much to do on this album before the archiving and documentation is complete, I hope to find enough identifying information to research the individuals in the album.
This album appears to have been used by one family over more than one generation. Some of the Cartes de Visite are from the 1860s while other photos are dated 1920.
After I remove all the photos from the album I take another camera picture of each one, front and verso (back). This allows me to easily and quickly zoom in on anything I wish to inspect for clues to the individuals or locations of each photo.
Then I use my wonderful Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner to create a quick but top quality scan of each photo. I'll be documenting the album here on my Olive Tree Genealogy blog in hopes a descendant spots the names or photos and recognizes them.
Meantime it seems many of the photos were taken in Yorkshire England but I did spot one that was from a Brantford Ontario Canada photographer. I am sure there are many more surprises to be found as I continue removing the photos and checking the backs.