Item description for Family Photographs, 1860-1945: A Guide to Researching, Dating and Contextuallising Family Photographs (Public Record Office Genealogists Guide) by Robert Pols...
There can be few people who do not have a box or album full of fading photographs of half- forgotten ancestors somwhere in their home. These photographs can be a treasure trove of information for family historians. Apart from showing your ancestors looks, photographs can reveal much more about them, including their social class, profession and origin. This book is designed to help you research, date and contextualise these family photographs. The book traces developments up to 1945, starting with the invention of popular photography in the mid-nineteenth century and continuing with the Box Brownie which made photography accessible to a wider public. It shows how to date photographs to a surprisingly accurate degree and how to interpret public and official photgraphs, as well as private ones. It includes sections on how to best present and preserve your photographs and features illustrated case studies with a fascinating selection of examples that help to explain the techniques involved.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.24" Width: 6.38" Height: 0.51" Weight: 0.89 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2002
Publisher Public Record Office Publications
ISBN 1903365201 ISBN13 9781903365205
Reviews - What do customers think about Family Photographs, 1860-1945: A Guide to Researching, Dating and Contextuallising Family Photographs (Public Record Office Genealogists Guide)?
Ok but May 8, 2008
I wish the second review had been posted before I bought this book! I was expecting a much more "manual" type book, with reference listings of various clues based on costume, photo type, etc. This book is written as a history, more or less, and you really have to page all through it to look for the information you need. There are no charts summarizing information whatsoever.
As noted, it has a UK point of view, and although this often doesn't make a difference, sometimes it does. For example, one paragraph talks about the advent of photo postcards and how you can date them depending on what the postal code required to be printed on them. However, this would be UK postal code, not US, so for my purposes useless.
One very aggravating aspect: although there are many, many photos throughout the book (at least one per page) they are not captioned with the date taken, but only referenced in the text, and often on a completely different page than the photo. I'm tempted to go through and note the dates on each photo, but I'm annoyed that I should have to do so. It seems a simple and obvious thing to omit, considering most readers are likely trying to date photos and would appreciate viewing the huge photo collection to link photo clues with date taken. They are printed in no chronological order either, so you can't even assume a photo placed later in the book was made after one that is placed earlier.
Helpful but........ May 8, 2008
I found this book to be helpful in researching family photos, however it has drawbacks. The book is very detailed about the history of photgraphy but far more detailed than I needed for help to date photos. Also the examples are from the UK not the USA. I would search for another source that is geared for an American interested in dating family photos.
These aspects make FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS 1860-1945 an invaluable genealogist's tool. Dec 11, 2006
If you want to take a closer look at old photos handed down through generations, you also have to take a closer look at the history and nature of portrait photography itself - and there's no better resource to turn to than Family Photographs 1860-1945. Other books focus on the history of portraits with an eye to photographic insights or artistic analysis: this instead blends in important facts unique to genealogical research, such as changing family roles, changing fashions, and how to date and interpret images given little extra information. These aspects make FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS 1860-1945 an invaluable genealogist's tool.