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Fresh Ideas for Family History, Part 1

Enjoy your family heirlooms everyday, and share the memories day in and day out.


Content Details

Type: Article
Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by:
Word Count: 646 (approx.)
Labels: Photograph  Heirloom 
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Family history is not complete without finding pictures to make your history come alive. The safest thing to do is to preserve your family heirlooms in acid-free paper and put them in a notebook and share them with family and friends at gatherings. Even though this method is necessary to preserve your family photos for years to come, it does not allow you to enjoy the photos every day and share the memories day in and day out. But there are ways preserve and still enjoy your family heirlooms each day.
  1. Make copies of your family photos, either by scanning and printing the photo at home or having it printed elsewhere. In this way, your originals may be safely stored, using copies for display. Then, frame these photos display them down your hallway.

    Normally people do not hang very much in their hallways; spaces our small, and there are usually odd spaces due to light switches and such. This is a perfect place for displaying your family photos.

  2. Decide on what type of pictures you will display. For example, many people have wedding pictures from generations back. This is always great. Using wedding pictures shows both grandparents together in one picture. You might also consider a picture of the church were they were married.

  3. In beginning to select your photos, select only the best of your photos to display and only one of each person. Do not try to have several of the same people. Save that place to display new photos as you collect them.

  4. Group your photos so that you have some sort of organization as far as generations. Children's pictures may not be the best choice for display, unless it is a photo of the school and all of the children in front of it.

  5. Try to use different size pictures and different kinds of frames, to create a collage of photos in your hallway. This makes for better-looking display in your hallway. As a rule of thumb, using photos no larger than 5X7 would help you fit all your photos throughout the hallway.

There are several things you can do to frame your photos inexpensively. Often times, old photos are already framed. Refinishing old frames can be a snap, by repainting the frame with acrylic water base paint and then a little high Shine clear varnish spray does the job well. You can also purchase inexpensive frames at many dollar stores. They usually have a good an assortment of frames which will give you an interesting look to your hallway. Antique stores are other places where older looking frames could also be purchased.

Placing the name of those in the photo on the back of the frame, along with the date will help for quick reference.

Some other things you might consider framing are signatures. They can be scanned from old letters and enlarged, then framed. This technique really works will if the slightly enlarged signature is printed on special printer paper which looks like it is aged paper. You can find all sorts of printer paper in any stationery or office supply stores.

There are also other things you might consider framing and displaying, Military photos are always a great display and so are photos of your family immigrant ships. These are areas of display which will be discussed in future articles. Each of these two kinds of photos call for special consideration and special ways to be displayed.

In many homes, at least one hallway is in clear view, allowing you to share your family heirlooms with your friends and family as they enter your home. If the hallway is not in clear view take time to show your project of your family history in your home. In sharing, you may also spread the joy and pride of collecting family heirlooms to others.

The accompanying photo is an example of how one might display photos in a hallway, with limited space.

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2006.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.

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