The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Friday, July 17, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

Last week I featured the photo of one of the old family home places. In that photo was my great grandfather, a Civil War veteran. Today I have another family heirloom that is tied to him. His release as a prisoner of war. As I have mentioned -- to make digital files of old photos -- I take a photo of that old photo. The same thing is done for important family papers. Take a photo of the paper document.

Any old important document can be easily transformed into an image and printed for display. Occasionally I will speak at my local National Archives location. There you can see copies of documents framed and displayed like art on the walls.

About a year ago I picked up a copy of Southern Living magazine -- I like this magazine. This issue had a cute idea for wall art in your kitchen -- framing an old, hand-written recipe. The only problem for me was that the small explanation that accompanied the photo of the finished piece said it was a great way to preserve the treasured family heirloom. This is not the way to preserve the heirloom. The original paper needs to be stored safely and out of direct light. Also, the odors and oils that are in the air in the kitchen can be detrimental to the item. I was so concerned that I wrote Southern Living a letter. I could just see all of the readers putting their recipes written by their grandmothers in a frame and onto the wall in their kitchens. The response was that the article said it should be a copy -- it didn't. Oh well.

By the way -- I love the idea of framing old, hand-written recipes -- just make sure it is a copy and not the original.

Now that I am thinking about it -- there are some old deeds for the old family property that I have not copied this way. Also, I have compiled a couple family cookbooks. When I did this I recieved many hand-written recipes from family members. Some of those relatives are no longer with us. So, not only do I have a mountain of photos to get through -- I have a mountain of papers! I am not complaining -- I love that we have so many photos and papers for the family. It is wonderful to have my grandmother's recipes written in their own hand. I love going through many of the old letters from relatives. It can really give you a glimpse of life at the time.

If you don't have a lot of family papers -- get online to see if you can locate anything. The National Archives is a great place to start. Here is a link to the section at the Archives online to find Civil War records. Some records can be found at the state level.


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