• Welcome!

    The Special Collections Division houses the genealogy and local history materials of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. Our goal is to collect, preserve, and provide access to the history of Summit County, and to continue to maintain one of the area’s most extensive genealogy collections.

  • Local History Database

    The database contains references to the Library's local history collections as well as the Summit County Historical Society's collections. Search the index to the collections.
  • Summit Memory

    Visit the online scrapbook of Summit County History at www.SummitMemory.org
  • Summit County World War II News Index

    This database indexes the names of Summit County servicemen and servicewomen who were named in the Akron Beacon Journal during World War II. Some non-military names are also included. This database is currently updated through June 30, 1943. World War II Database
  • Ohio Obituary Index

    Search for obituary citations from select Ohio newspapers, including the Akron Beacon Journal, using the Ohio Obituary Index.

Photography for the Family Historian

Click to view a printable flyer.

The Special Collections Division of the Akron-Summit County Public Library presented this daylong program by Diane VanSkiver Gagel, M.A on Saturday, March 31, 2012, 9:30-3:30 in the Main Library Auditorium.

You may download handouts here.  These are copyrighted material and can be used only for personal use.

A professional researcher, lecturer and writer and past president of the Ohio Genealogical Society, Diane is the author of several genealogy and photography books, including Ohio Photographers: 1839-1900, Directory of Photographers in the United States 1888 & 1889 and Canada in 1889 and Windows on the Past: Identifying, Dating, & Preserving Photographs.  She discussed the topics of traditional verses digital photography, finding and sharing family photographs, and dating, identifying and caring for historic photographs.

Program Schedule:

9:30 – 9:45        Introductions

9:45 – 10:45      The Family Photographer: To be Digital or Not to be Digital
This lecture covers the positive and negative aspects of setting up a home digital photo lab versus the advantages and disadvantages of film photography. Included is information on equipment needed, costs, and advice on family photographs in the digital age.

10:45 – 11:00    Break

11:00 – 12:00    Windows on the Past: Dating, Identifying and Caring for Historic Photographs – Part 1
Covers the history of early photography and how to identify and date photographic formats, dating by photographer information and by props.

12:00 – 1:15       Lunch on your own

1:15 – 2:15          Windows on the Past: Dating, Identifying and Caring for Historic Photographs – Part 2
Covers dating 19th century images by the fashions found in the photographs and also preservation of  vintage photographs.

2:15 – 2:30         Break

2:30 – 3:30        Ancestors in the Attic: Finding and Sharing Family Photographs
Covers finding photographs or seeking identification of photographs of our ancestors from distant relatives, libraries, and on the net.  The second part of the lecture covers sharing our photographs with others in using cameras, computer technology, and the net.  Overview of Internet photographic sites will be included. Also discussed are basic ideas on using photographs in scrapbooks, family histories and reunion booklets.


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