Photo from May 17th, 1929, taken in Rjukan, Telemark

Many of us have a lot of photos from the past, often with unidentified persons and places. But help is to be found!

The Storli family portrayed on May 17th, 1929 (Norway’s Constitution Day). The two ladies on the right are probably colleagues of Mrs. Storli from a local school. Two of the girls are wearing bunads, the national costumes.

One of the best experts on photos is Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, from the United States. She has authored books, and holds webinars and podcasts on the subject. By learning from her, you can improve your basic skills and also become an expert on your own collection.

I have many photos from my grandparents, their collections are from places of studies, place of work and places they lived, and are from about 1910 onwards. Sadly, there is not much documentation of where the photos were taken. But the surroundings in which the photos were taken are of some help. There are mountains, waterfalls, the interior of a waterpower plant, houses and gardens, and in some of the photos, I can identify one or more persons. I can carry on from there, because if I know the year the photo was taken, I have information from genealogical sources about where my grandparents lived and where they went. And about some of the people they would meet.

Ways of proceeding are:

  • Crowdsourcing (Facebook, Instagram and so on)
    • In Norway there are a lot of Facebook sites with old pictures, here is one.
  • Asking the experts (local museums and holders of photographic collections)
  • Contacting other genealogists who are interested in the same area

And by sharing your own photos, other people will share theirs with you. I have “found” pictures of two sets of great-great-grandparents because of collaboration on Facebook.

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