Like many people interested in history and genealogy, I love collecting old photographs. There is nothing better than receiving a group portrait of my family members from past generations with everyone carefully identified and the date dutifully recorded. Unfortunately, many historic photos find their way to collectors without any identification at all. But that doesn’t mean their secrets are locked away forever. Careful examination of historic photos often reveals a great deal about their time period, location, and subjects. The history room has several wonderful books to help you do just that. One of my favorites is Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900. This book breaks down by decade and clearly identifies the clothing and hairstyles popular for each. Styles for men, women, and children are all included as well as clues to society and popular culture of the time. With 272 photographs, Dressed for the Photographer is enjoyable to browse but is also an incredibly useful tool.
Dressed for the Photographer