Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Two Sites Trying to Return Orphaned Heirloom Photographs

From the "Early Faces
of Queensland" site
Many people doing genealogy research are familiar with Megan Smolenyak's efforts to return orphaned heirlooms.  A lot of people also do research on their own when they find items.  I've been fortunate to find owners of some items myself. Recently I learned about two Web sites that are posting orphaned items for the purpose of reuniting them with former owners or descendants.

Did you ever lose a roll of film while on vacation?  The Rescued Film Project is an online collection of images developed from film from between the 1930's and the late 1990's.  The images, both static and video, come from undeveloped film found at locations around the world.  The site's owners develop the film and post the images.  They say they can process film from all time periods and formats, including degraded film and film that is no longer manufactured.  (If you have some old film of your own, this might be useful.)  The site includes an e-mail address to send a message if someone is recognized in an image.  You can contribute found film to the project, which will process it and archive the images for free.  Reading the phrasing on the site, I suspect reconnecting someone with his processed film isn't entirely free, but it could easily be worth the cost, depending on what the photos are.  If you have some time, browsing the site is interesting, because the collection is so eclectic and unconnected.

The other site is much more specific in its focus.  The Early Faces of Queensland [Australia] Facebook page and Web site host scans of photographs that came from the Marsden Photography Studio in Brisbane.  (Brisbane is the capital of Queensland.)  The studio operated from about 1880 to the early 1910's.  The teenage son of the woman who owns the photos decided to scan and post them online as a method of trying to reunite them with living family members.  A Brisbane Times article about his project doesn't state how many photos there are, but he figures it will take him years to scan and upload all the photos.  He intends to charge only enough to cover the postage to send an identified photo to someone.  I like the tag line on the Facebook page:  Helping Historical Photos Find Their Families.

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