Vintage photographs are a great way of building a picture of the lives of your ancestors.

Most family histories are kept on a computer  in a specific program or kept in a scrapbook style record.

Whichever method you choose old photographs are a great way to liven up the pages.

Your old photos

The first piece of advice is to search lofts and cupboards for boxes with old photographs of your relatives.

It is only in comparatively recent times that cameras have been available to most people.

Photographs were usually taken at special times such as weddings, christenings, holidays and special birthdays

If you find some then speak to older living relatives to try and identify the people and the occasions.

If you can identify people then write the names on the rear to secure this information for future generations.

Most museums have box after box of photographs of unknown people that would be so much more interesting if names were known.

Your relatives

Speak to your relatives and ask if they have any old photographs. If so use a digital camera to photograph them or preferable use a scanner to make a quality digital copy.

Once copied your family is safe against losing irreplaceable family history by means of fire, flood or theft.

Restoring Photos

There are many digital imaging programs which offer photograph restoration to suit various capabilities. Many of these programs are automated which means that even an inexperienced user can improve the old photographs.

A visit to your bookshop or library will unearth many books  or a Google search will find  internet sites that will provide in depth advice on restoration of your photographs.

There are also many firms that offer a restoration service.

The better firms can achieve remarkable results but it is important to realise that once a photograph has faded it can be improved but it will not be possible to bring it up to modern standards given the remarkable advances in cameras since the Box Brownie brought photography to the masses.

If you decide to follow this route please check out the firm properly as there are many firms advertising on the internet or in High Streets, some of which do not have the experience or ability to provide you with the optimum results for your photograph.

Purchasing Photos

Nowadays we take photographs of buildings and views both locally and on holiday. Before World War 2 family photographs tended to be posed and captured local buildings by accident rather than design.

Most photographs of local scenes and building was undertaken by local photographers with many of the imaged being released as postcards.

Photographs of views or street scenes that would have been familiar to our ancestors is a great way of spicing up your family records.

There are a number of firms that advertise on the internet who will sell  restored copied of these old vintage photographs.

This web site is able to supply vintage photographs dating back as far as 1899. To see the photographs click on the below link.

The web site is also affiliated to Francis Frith who have over 300,000 vintage photographs of towns and villages in the UK including many in Eastern England. Some of the local photographs are displayed on this web site and can be viewed by clicking on the below link