Album Rescue Project: Album 1, Photo 1

For lack of a better name, I’m going to call my latest photo project the Album Rescue Project. Today, I started removing the photos from the first album, scanning them and adding them to a new photo album.

Here is the first photo and what is written on the reverse (click on the images for larger versions):

Reverse of Photo 1: New Town

There’s not a lot to work with here, but there are a couple of clues. There is a notation on the back that says “New Town.” I think it’s too early to try and figure out which New Town (or Newtown or maybe even Newton). On the front is written “S-1915.” I’m going to assume that is the date, for now. I’m pretty sure the little girl in the picture makes an appearance in other photos in the album.

This photo actually was pasted onto the inside of the front cover. I very carefully slid an Exact-o knife blade underneath to loosen it from the paper. It came off pretty easily, but I’m not sure the rest that are still glued in will be as cooperative.

I’m moving the photos into an acid-free, photo-safe album from Creative Memories for safe keeping. The photos slide into pockets so that they can be removed later, if needed.

PicFolio Album from Creative Memories

I’m adding paper into some of the pockets for journaling in the album, as I find out more about the photos. Stay tuned for more photos and investigating!

New Album Project: Step One

I couldn’t wait to dig into my latest album project, but I had a bunch of Xmas-prep stuff to take care of last night. Now that that’s out of the way, I was able to take the first step in attending to the photos in the two albums I purchased yesterday.

Because I intend to remove most, if not all, of the photos from the albums, I wanted a record of their order as I found them before I start removing them. So I photographed each page’s layout. As I am researching the photos, the order may provide clues as to how the various photo subjects are related.

I think the album’s original owner’s intent in how he/she displayed the photos is important to consider/preserve. For instance, I think the way they arranged the photos below is clever.

Here are some more of the layouts:

Next, I start by looking at the photos one by one. If they are already loose, I’ll scan them and start investigating any clues they reveal. If they are glued in, things will be trickier. I’ll photograph or scan them before considering how best to extract them. Once removed, I’ll scan them for the best possible digital copy. All of the photos will be put into a new album made of acid-free, photo safe materials. I’ve chosen a Creative Memories Picfolio album for this purpose. I’ll try to preserve the original order as best I can.

Merry Xmas to Me! (And Maybe Someone Else…)

While shopping in downtown Easton today, I stopped into an antique store to pick up soup* (yeah, I know, that sounds odd — see below for an explanation). This is the same antique store that sold me the Friends Album earlier this year. I decided to peruse the shop again to see if I could find any more old photos — I wasn’t disappointed.

On the bottom shelf of a glassed-in bookcase were two black photo albums opened to display candid shots of a family in one and scenes of downtown D.C. in another. All of the photos appeared to be from the early 1900s.

One of the shop’s proprietors noticed me eying the albums and asked if I’d like to see them. Well, of course I did! We both paged through them and she showed me a particularly funny series of photos of three ladies in a hammock. Let’s just say that one of the photos is captioned “A Hard Fall.” I can’t wait to write a post about those photos!

Needless to say, I bought both albums.

Many of the photos are in bad shape and/or are suffering damage by how the are stored in the album. I think this project may be less about researching the folks in the photos (though I will try) and more about rescuing the photos and getting them into better circumstances to prevent further damage.

Notice how the photo on the left is creased from being too close to the binding?

I have to say that I won’t be too disappointed if I don’t end up reuniting these albums with their original owners’ descendants as I’ve kind of already fallen in love with many of the images and would love to hang onto them.

But you know me. The thrill is in the hunt. There is an intriguing system that someone used to label the photos (although he/she wrote directly on the photos, grrrr…) — almost all are at least dated and I did spy one with a gentleman’s name on the back.

*Shore Boys Cream of Crab Soup is legendary around here, but the restaurant that used to serve and sell it by the pint closed. Now this antique store sells it frozen.