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How You Can Help Us

Identification Problems

Many of the older negatives have little or no information. The proprietors were running a business and not a museum. Each had their own system, or lack, of storing negatives and filing information about them.

On the one hand, the studio stayed in one location for almost a hundred years, as a result so many negatives have survived. On the other hand, negatives were stored neither carefully nor systematically, many lack very much identification information. None of the storage envelopes were acid free archival quality. In many cases, the envelopes had completely deteriorated and whatever information either was was lost or illegible.

There is another identification problem: often we know who the customer was, but do not know who or what is the subject. The customer may have been the mother, but who is the little boy in the picture?

We have from time to time exhibited prints from unidentified negatives. As a result we have been able to identify some of them. On other occasions, prints are brought in with identification. One such print had 13 persons in a group photograph. Each person was identified on the print, both with vital statistics and relationships to each other. Not only that, we do have the glass plate from which the print was made!

If you have prints from the collection - typically they bear the name of the proprietor of the studio at the time - it would be so helpful if you can pass along whatever information that you may have about the print. We welcome genealogical information. It is not just portraits where we have identification problems, we have identification problems with many landscapes as well.

If you live nearby or come to Hillsborough on occasion, we would be most appreciative if you could come to the collection and look at some of the images to see what we can match up.

Likewise, we plan from time to time display images on this web site so that those of you who are at a distance still may able to help us research and identify images.

Join Us in Our Work on the Collection

What we have accomplished with the collection is the result of many hours of volunteer work. If you live in the area or spend extended periods here, consider joining our volunteers. Volunteers come from Antrim, Deering, Goshen, Washington; not just Hillsborough.

Our work on the collection is varied and interesting. We always welcome volunteers who could join us for a weekday afternoon or morning.

There are a variety of tasks:

• Research and identification of images

• Learn preservation and conservation of photographic material

• Learn computer manipulation of images with Adobe Photoshop

• Learn data base development and management with FileMaker

• Learn publication and web site development

• Leading edge computer lab

• Use your other skills

Stop by and see us at work, would love to have you join us.