Dobberstein Digest On-Line: Photo Album


    Do you have a photo you want to share? Here's how!

Have your photo scanned in high resolution (250% is ideal and will usually fit on one disk) and saved to small floppy disk (3.5") in TIF format. Send disk to me, and I will review and convert it to the necessary format and size and include it here.

If you don't have a computer or a scanner, check with aother relative that may have one. Many commercial printers also make this service available for a reasonable cost and will do it while you wait.

Or you can send original pictures or copies of photos and I will scan them and return the original to you as soon as I get it copied.

Be sure to clearly identify the individuals in the photographs, the event and date taken, if known.

An alternate method of sending a scanned image is to send it as an attachment to an e-mail note. If you do this method send it to my alternate e-mail address: [email protected]. (Do not send it to my Juno account address, which only accepts text.)

Tips on proper care of old photographs

I've seen many collections of old photographs from family members in various shapes of storage and organization (or disorganization). Many people have old albums filled with photos that are glued to thick black paper separators, bound with leather covers and twine. Other photo collections are stored in nothing more than an old shoe or hat box, pictures loosely filed, and haphazardly organized because of children and relatives rifling through them once every two years. Does that sound like your collection? Do you want to do anything about it?

The following article is brought to you by the Internet's leading photo restoration Web site:


Old photographs are extremely valuable artifacts. They are the visual link to our past and they help connect us to our shared history in ways that no other records can. Yet they are extremely delicate and their preservation can pose special problems. The biggest enemies to photographs are light, heat, moisture and pollution. These can catalyze chemical processes within photographic materials. U.V. radiation can fade photographs. Heat and moisture work together to cause chemical reactions within the photographic media and they also can encourage mold growth and insect activity. Heat alone can increase the brittleness of a photograph.

Dust can scratch a photographic image and pollutants can carry destructive chemicals that can react with delicate photographic emulsions. One of the best things one can do for any photographic collection is to ensure a very stable environment. Make sure that the storage location is cool, dark and dry. Insure that the environment does not suffer from severe fluctuations in these conditions. Attics, garages, basements and wallets are definitely NOT ideal locations in which to store precious photographs.

Try to hold photos and negatives by their edges only. Be sure not to place your fingers directly onto the photographic image. Oils and microscopic dirt on fingertips can cause slow but permanent damage to photos. If and whenever possible, separate the negatives from the actual prints. Both should be stored in a cool, dark and dry area. Store important originals in a safe place and make copies of these photos for display. When using albums, care must be given to the type selected. There are now many "archival safe" products on the market.

However, make sure that the paper is acid free and that the plastics used are PVC free. Acidic paper turns yellow with time and becomes brittle. Even new photos can be harmed if the paper touching them is acidic. With regard to plastic storage materials, PVC gives off a strong vinyl or "plastic" smell. The chemicals present in this type of plastic are incredibly harmful to photographic materials. Avoid "magnetic" or "sticky back" photo albums. These contain harmful chemicals and adhesives that are detrimental to photos. In time these can permanently bond to the photo and yellowing adhesives can eventually migrate through the image.

Using the correct (and often more expensive) materials may seem like a needless luxury at first, but the pennies you spend now will save dollars if someday faced with a restoration of a favorite photo. Think of the expense is an investment: one that will ensure that the memories within these artifacts are preserved to be enjoyed and studied by future generations. For more information on the care of valued photographs be sure to visit



Herman & Bertha with their children in this photo taken about 1890. From left to right:

This photo was taken in 1904 for Herman & Bertha's 25th anniversary. From left to right:

Herman & Bertha Dobberstein with their adult children for their 50th anniversary. From left to right:

Trace your roots at!


Herman's third son, Henry and his wife Anna on their wedding day with their wedding party. From left to right:




How are your old family photos labeled?

Regarding labeling photographs, I learned, fortunately before it was too late, to double check those "labeled" photos that grandma or mom says are all filled out! My grandmother, at my request, sat down and labeled all the JAQUES family photos. She told me she had done so and I took her word. One cold rainy day, when we had nothing to do and Mama (she raised me) was bored. I said, "Why don't we drag out those photos and look at them?" So we did. They were labeled, all right. "Your cousin," "Jack," "Wini and friend," "The boys," "Yr Granny," "MO's boyfriend," "Friend of mine." Oh dear!

Well, it took lots of coaxing ("but I did label them!"), but soon we settled down to the task. Pictures were sorted according to age and to family line. "Your Grandfather" became "Millard Nathaniel JAQUES. Marr to Lenora (Hartung) taken Monett MO 1910 100 E. Pearl St Marshall Hill Monett MO." "Yr Granny" became "Margaret Alice (Hursh) HARTUNG marr to Joseph HARTUNG mother of Lenora JAQUES taken Sapulpa KS 1907," and in that way, we identified hundreds of snapshots, tintypes, Daguerreotypes, and card photos of the JAQUES, HARTUNG, HURSH, BROWN, ELLIS and other families in and around the Marshall Hill area of Monett, Missouri. Now my grandmother is gone. I look at the old pictures and thank my stars I thought to check the "labeled pictures."

Written by Sylvia Stevens <[email protected]>. Previously published by Julia M. Case and Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG, Missing Links, Vol. 5, No. 8, 23 February 2000. RootsWeb: <>










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Last revised: February 27, 2000.