Jones' experience brought two things to my mind: the importance of documenting your family photographs and the usefulness of photographs as historical sources. Documenting your photographs (in pencil or non-corrosive ink of course) with the date, names of people in the photograph, photographer name, and location/event can be invaluable to later generations and historians. Provenance is what creates great artifacts and allows heritage organizations to properly credit and describe their collections. Documenting your family photographs can make correctly remembering events a lot easier.
|Holland House Library, 1940|
Additionally, the visual nature of photographs provides them with an advantage over written documents. People tend to be drawn to images far more than a block of text. Photographs are routinely used in outreach and instructional programming by local history groups, genealogists, educational institutions, museums, and archives.Historical photographs can be used to introduce people to history that they would otherwise have no interest in. Glimpses into the past through photographs can be invaluable to all levels of historical practice.
Photo credits : zmustapha and Lee Cannon