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Photography: Clues Pictures Hold, Editing, Digitizing and Various Projects
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A picture is worth a thousand words, so photographs are an integral part of telling a story. This course is designed to help students use and identify photographs to document their family history. Students are encouraged to apply the methods in this course to make the best use of their own family photos and/or those of their genealogy clients.

Assignments will focus on practical applications of methods using photographs. Students will learn ways to obtain family photographs, archive them physically and digitally, determine the photographic processes used, date the photographs, and identify people and other details in the images.

Although this course is part of the Professional Development Certificate program, it is suitable for students participating in the Personal Historian program or those with a general interest in family photographs.


Module 1
Note about Web Addresses
Finding Family Photographs
Handling Photographs

Storing Photographs
  • Separate Storage

    Digitizing Old Photographs
  • Scanners & Digital Cameras
  • Scanning Photographs
  • Archiving Digital Images
  • Naming Computer Folders
  • Naming Image Files
  • Digital Editing & Enhancement
  • Displaying Photographs

    Recommended Reading

    Module 2
    A Brief History of Photography & Photographic Processes
    History of Photography

    Photographic Processes
  • Daguerreotypes
  • Ambrotype
  • Tintypes
  • Albumen Prints
  • Cabinet Cards
  • Cartes de Visite
  • Stereoviews
  • Panoramas
  • Color Photographs
  • Snapshots
  • Polaroids
  • Image Reversal
  • Case Mounting (Union Cases)
  • Backdrops

    Recommended Reading

    Module 3
    Analyzing The Photograph Content

  • Where was the photograph found?
  • How & when was the photograph taken?
  • Who took the photograph & where?
  • Who is in the photograph?
  • What is in the photograph?
  • Why was the photograph taken?

    Post-Mortem Photography
    Recommended Reading

    Module 4
    Date Photographs Using Clothing Styles, 1839-1950s

    Analyzing Clothing in Photographs
  • How People Use Clothing
  • Womenís Clothing
  • Menís Clothing
  • Asian Clothing
  • African-American Clothing
  • Native American Clothing
  • Military Uniforms
  • Childrenís Clothing

    Recommended Reading

    Module 5
    Date Photographs Using Hairstyles, 1839-1950s

    Womenís Hairstyles
  • The Romantic Era
  • The Victorian & Edwardian Eras
  • Hair Coloring
  • The Bob
  • 1930s
  • 1940s
  • 1950s
  • Asian Hairstyles
  • Native American Hairstyles
  • African-American Hairstyles

    Menís Hairstyles
  • 1920s
  • 1930s
  • 1940s
  • 1950s
  • Asian Hairstyles
  • Native American Hairstyles
  • African-American Hairstyles

    Childrenís Hairstyles
    Recommended Reading

    Module 6
    Identifying Faces in Photographs & Artistic Renderings

    Identifying People in Photographs
  • Family Trees
  • Family Albums

    Face Recognition Software
  • Ear Analysis

    Face Analysis
  • Family Resemblances
  • Inherited Traits
  • Health Problems Affecting Faces
  • Idiosyncratic Traits

    Observation Techniques
  • Measuring Faces
  • Artistic Renderings

    Recommended Reading

    Module 7
    Identifying People in Photographs Based on Written Descriptions
    Where Can Descriptions Be Found?

    Problems with Descriptions
  • Variations in Descriptions
  • Descriptions of Appearance
  • Descriptions of Personality
  • Obtaining Written Descriptions

    Module 8
    Photographic Services Genealogists Can Provide

    Photography-Related Services
  • Identification of Faces & Events
  • Archiving Images
  • Digitizing Photographs & Documents
  • Digitizing & Editing Home Movies
  • Digital Restoration
  • Photography & Scanning

    Recommended Reading


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