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Unlocking the Secrets in Old Photographs Paperback – February 1, 1991

2.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Learn to analyze clothing styles and surrounding architecture to discover the hidden secrets in your photographs!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Ancestry Publishing (February 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0916489507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0916489502
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The title would lead you to believe that those photos you found in the family bible may more easily be identified after reading this book. Think again. There is only one chapter, Chapter Three, that even comes close to delivering on its promise, i.e., "Dating Photographs: Clues to Identification." But even then, this chapter, like the others, is crammed with such drivel as "..a photo taken in America in 1885 cannot possibly be that of an ancestor who did not arrive until 1900." What? And another: "When you present photographs to relatives for identification purposes, you will be confronted with one of two situations. Your relatives either will or will not recognize the faces in the photos." No, I am not kidding. This is really the advice that is offered. The book is padded out with chapters such as "The First Step: Identifying the Family" and "Public Sources of Information." In a word, Awful
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Format: Paperback
The usefulness of this book to anyone who has spent any time at all with family photos is pretty limited. It covers the most basic apsects of the topic: dates for evolution of the various types of photographs, a little (very litttle) on dress styles, a decent (if dated) bibliography, ideas for gathering photos from relatives, furniture clues, etc. I read it through cover to cover in a day. The 190pp. could have been condensed to about a quarter that length.

I found chapter 5 on the technical details of photograph evolution was handy and the (single!) chapter on dating photographs (chap. 3) was decent. Then again a quick google search would have yielded most of this information online.

For a basic book on the topic, I prefer Maureen Taylor's more recent Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photographs (Betterway, 2000).

Far more helpful are the various books on costuming and details of clothing.
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Format: Paperback
I find this book very useful. Author Karen Frisch-Ripley gives specific information on locating old photographs and using genealogical research techniques to identify the subjects pictured in them. She discusses the different types of photographs and clues in the photographs themselves that can help date them. She emphasizes the importance of carefully studying the persons, scenes, and objects in each photograph.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good background review for someone attempting to organize family photos. Sources in back of book allow for more in-depth areas for study.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dull, boring and stuff I already knew..........
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