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    « Who Are Editors and What Are They Good For? | Main | What to Include in a Memoir or Family History Book »

    The Photo Detective

    Have you discovered old family photographs of people you can’t identify? Most of us have. A recent post on the Association of Personal Historians list-serv reminded me of how vexing the unknown faces staring back from an old photograph can be. The woman who posted had been approached by another woman who had a box of old photographs of people she couldn’t identify. The APH member asked for help in advising the woman how to proceed. It was a familiar question.

    What was different was that one of the responses suggested she consult Maureen Taylor, another APH member whom the Wall Street Journal called “the nation’s foremost historical photo detective.” The Journal’s article describes how Taylor unravels the mysteries contained in old photos. It’s a fascinating process.

    In an article for the Smithsonian, Taylor explains why she thinks photographs are so important, “…each of our own family pictures is more than a photograph of a loved one; each one is also a historical document. Our photographs reflect history; they inform us, change our impressions of our relatives, and tell the story of our families.”

    It’s no wonder that Joe Chabot of Waltham, Massachusetts, said, ““The combination of Maureen’s photo identification expertise and genealogy experience make her a valuable resource.”

    Heck out her website at maureen .

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