12 February 2015

How Did I Know Who Wrote on the Back of the Photograph?

I'm working on an update/followup to the "Source Within A Source" post thanks to several private emails that I received. I think there are several ways to handle the citation with the overriding goal of providing as much information about how the image and identification was done as possible.

However a "Genealogy Tip of the Day" (which was written some times ago--long before it was published) reminded me of another element of the identification process:

How do you know the identify of the identifier?

That's important to know and sometimes we do have photographs that have identification on the back of them, but the person who did the identification is no longer alive.

In my citation of the identification of the individuals on photograph on which these names are written, I need to indicate how I knew who wrote these names (if possible). That knowledge gets at how accurate I think that identification is.  In the case of the illustration, I'm pretty certain the handwriting is that of my great-aunt, but I'm getting confirmation of that from her daughter. There were pictures in my great-aunt's collection that were identified. Based on the handwriting on the backs of those photograph, several different people wrote on those photos.

And if it's possible for me to determine who wrote on them, I should indicate their identity. And how I made the identification of that handwriting is also something I should include.

We'll have an update on this photograph in a future post.

There's always something to cite.