It’s no secret that family photographs forge connections to the past. We may never have met Aunt Betsy or Great-Grandpa Milton, but we can see ourselves in their faces and learn something of our family circumstances through their clothes and smiles and settings.
Our Special Collections Center has hundreds of faces and family groups in our photograph collections. Our patrons have not only found their ancestors among these images, but they’ve also made connections to our shared history.
We’re proud to say that our image collections are something of a Community Family Album.
But we’re afraid some of our community has been left out.
Most of our portrait photographs were taken by only one or two studios—the Hostetler Studio and the Free Studio, in particular—for only a few decades. These studios were not necessarily affordable to everyone and weren’t necessarily the first choice for many ethnic groups in Davenport.
Some of our patrons have been generous enough to add their families’ images to our collections, either by donating their originals or allowing us to scan them for our digital archives. But not everyone knows that our Center equipped to archive and preserve donations of local photographs.
We are! And we need your help to fill in the gaps in our “Album”!
If you have portrait photographs of family members (or people you consider family) and can provide information about them—even if you only know their names and relationship to you—we would love to add them to our Archive to preserve and provide access to them for future generations.
Contact Jessica Mirasol, the Special Collections/Archives Supervising Librarian: jmirasol[at]davenportlibrary[dot]com
Your family is part of our history—please help us put faces to them!