Friday, September 26, 2008

October is Family History Month

For nearly a decade, genealogists have celebrated Family History Month in October. As part of this year’s celebration, the Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society and Lake County Public Library are co-hosting a special program—Repairing and Dating Family Heirloom Photographs. Our speaker, Eric Basir, is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, and owner of a photo retouching studio in Evanston, IL. He serves the genealogical community as a teacher and author of “Ask the Retoucher,” a column for genealogical publications.

The restoration and retouching of old heirloom photographs can be a fun hobby. Why not celebrate Family History Month by revisiting your old heirloom photographs? If you discover any photographs needing a facelift bring them to our program. Eric will use some photographs from the audience to demonstrate how you can restore and preserve your treasured photographs using modern technology.

If you want to retouch and restore your old heirloom photographs at home, you will need a flatbed scanner and a graphics software package. Eric will make some suggestions about purchasing the proper equipment and software. Then, Eric will demonstrate how to correct common picture flaws like scratching, staining, and fading. Even torn and dog-eared photographs can be restored.

Your newly restored photographs can be saved in digital format on your computer or CD for years of enjoyment. Eric will offer several tips for proper handling and storing of old heirloom photographs.

As you look through your old photographs you might need help dating and identifying the subjects in the photos. Eric will talk about some techniques for gathering clues.

What type of picture is it? Daguerreotype, tintype, cabinet card?
Check the fashion or clothes for a time period.
Are there objects in the background such as a car that can help date the photo?

In conjunction with our program featuring, Eric Basir, the library is hosting a traveling table-top exhibit from the Indiana Historical Society. A Perfect Likeness: Care and Identification of Family Photographs can be viewed in the Periodicals Department at the Central library in Merrillville through October 14th. The exhibit focuses on identifying and caring for such common 19th century photographic formats as the daguerreotype, tintype, and cabinet card. Examples of these formats have been drawn from the collections of the Indiana Historical Society and George Eastman House. This exhibit is being co-sponsored by the Lake County Historical Museum.

Also, beginning in October, the library will be featuring four popular genealogy magazines Ancestry, Family Tree, Internet Genealogy, and The Genealogical Helper. Come and check out some of these very helpful and interesting magazines.

These magazines cover a vast array of topics including:

Internet research
Military research
Ethnic research
Vital records
Record keeping
Genealogy software & book reviews
Historical background
Genealogical news and events

Date: Saturday October 11th
Time: 10:30-2:30 (two sessions)
Place: Lake County Public Library~Merrillville, Lower Level Mtg. Rooms
Call to register: 769-3541 ext. 334
Reserve a Box Lunch:
View Photography Exhibit in Periodicals Room
Check out a Genealogy Magazine from the Periodicals Room