Bright Ideas: Identifying Old Photographs through “Naming Parties”

The Library and Archives of Canada got it right.  Faced with piles of photographs that tell the country’s history, but unable to identify them, they chose a novel but simplistic solution–ask the older members of the communities before they die.  Yes indeed, such projects are time sensitive.

Social media is a help too, creating inter-generational conversations. The posting of a photograph to Facebook, for example, creates buzz, often results in identification and often a story behind the faces.

I’ve personally worked for, or volunteered for several historical societies who had many unidentifiable photographs, sometimes complete albums.  The smart organizations will take heed now before it is too late and the knowledge of the where’s and who’s are lost forever. A photograph naming ‘event’ could be created, perhaps with a tie in with a town’s Old Home Day, or with a noted anniversary.

Read more about “Project Naming.”

Blog Fodder: Themes for May

The first post on a new blog is often the most difficult.  What is better than a new post on a date associated with the fall of the Old Man of the PhotoFunia-janwizardMountain?  At least 132 years before the famed granite profile fell, people predicted its demise.  That example just goes to show:  everything has a beginning and an end, but no one can accurately predict the exact time of its finality.

But back to post creation! Using a current theme can help inspire you.  For example:

– May is National Military Appreciation Month. This month you can write about a living member of your family who served in the United States military in any capacity, or in keeping with Mother’s Day, you could write about how you think a woman in your family reacted and what she went through when she went off to war, or while her spouse/father/brother went off to war.

– May 6th is National Nurses Day (coordinated with the birthday of the noted Florence Nightingale, who was born 12 May 1820). Surely you have a nurse in your family, as a neighbor, a friend or perhaps have a favorite or non-favorite one who cared for you in the past.  Blog it!

– We can’t forget Mother’s Day, on May 12, 2013.  Whether she is living or not, write a story about your Mom, and don’t leave out the photographs.  I bet she was beautiful, just like mine.

– Really and truly, May 13th is Frog Jumping Day.  Today is the perfect time to write about amphibians, or other hairless pets, in your family.  My son enjoyed collecting salamanders.  I once had a coffee-can size hoard of toads that got loose, and made my mother scream.  Relate an amusing tale of your own.

– The last day of May is always Memorial Day.  Write a story about how you spent the day (since you are still making history), or your favorite memories of this day.  Perhaps a photo-blog of flags pictures is in order.

If you know of more May-specific, blog-worthy events that are being celebrated, please let me know.