Known today as "One Hanson Place", the iconic Brooklyn clock tower completed in 1929 for the Williamsburg Savings Bank has gone through many reinventions while maintaining it's historic charm. It was landmarked by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee in 1977. In pursuit of history and good food I visited the Brooklyn Flea held at One Handson Place.
"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don't: Write on the front of a picture
Example: Picture of my Shaw Ancestors
Sure labeling a picture this way makes it easier to identify people, but the integrity of the photo is somewhat compromised. Demonstrate your appreciation of their memories, only write on the back of the original picture. You can make a copy, write in the names, and save it with the original.
Don't: only write the first name, who is Aunt Ann?
This picture alone would be quite a mystery, no mention of whose Aunt this is or a maiden or married surname. Always include the last names, especially the maiden names! Sometimes finding a woman's maiden name can prove to be the most difficult task. You can never assume pictures will stay within a a direct family line, any facts you can include will help tell the story.
Do: Write your name when adding or modifying a label.
Do: Write the date
Do: use Acid Free/Archival Safe Ink
Do: write the location!
I WISH more of my family photographs had some indication of location. Back in the day the family would stick together and live in a relatively local spot, this is probably one of the reasons they didn't jot down the city name or street. With sites like whatwasthere.com and historypin.com you can upload images, mark their location on the a virtual map, and compare the old picture vs the google street view from today. If only we could go back in time and explain this in the late 1800's- wouldn't they be surprised!
Do: ask family members for help!
It's really important to take the time and read over whatever inscriptions you find on family pictures and documents. The smallest detail can be the key to unlocking the secrets of your family. If you have a grandparent or great aunt or uncle nearby you could ask them to take a look at your pictures. This is a time sensitive opportunity- take advantage while you can!
Have fun preserving your pictures!
Just this week archives.com announced their NEW Grant program for family and cultural history projects. I am very excited about this fantastic opportunity, here is the press release from Archives.com: Archives.com Announces Grant to Fund Family and Cultural History Projects Program to Assist Groups and Individuals with Historical Preservation "PALO ALTO, CA — January 13, 2011 – Archives.com, an Inflection brand, today announces its Grant Program, a major initiative to assist individuals and communities with family, communal, and cultural research and preservation projects. The Archives.com Grant will help people and organizations take on historically significant projects that positively impact their family or community.
Updated on January 16, 2011 at 11:40PM by abbyb
You are bound to find some juicy facts the deeper you dig into your family roots. One of my ancestors was supposedly a member of the Oneida Community, researching the history of was quite enlightening. A random handwritten family tree from the box of stuff mentioned my gggg grandfather Josiah J Franks as a member of the Oneida Community. After some digging I found a cousin of my grandmother. He is in his nineties and as luck would have it he was an avid family historian! He sent me a wealth of information and also noted Josiah as a "member of oneida community". In addition he sent a letter dated 1856 between 2 of Josiah's sons: “You ask how do I feel about going to Oneida to live, I can tell you that I would not live among such a set of people for anything at all. Every letter that Father [Josiah] writes to me he says more or less about me going to Oneida to live. He says he is going to send me money for me to come home but on the condition that I must spend a week at Oneida.“ Intrigued I did some research.