A Hidden Resource - Somerset and Dorset Photographs Project

Introduction

We all have family photographs tucked away in albums or envelopes which never see the light of day. These will probably include wedding groups, works photographs, outings and so on. Would you be prepared to share them with fellow researchers?

Aim of the Project

The Somerset and Dorset Family History Society is setting up a searchable database of photographs of named people from Somerset and Dorset. It is hoped that this will grow into a valuable resource which will give people a chance to find images of their relatives.

We already have several photographs which can be included but this is just the start. To make this project a success we need contributions from members and friends. What we intend to do is to scan your photographs and then collect as much information as possible about each one, before adding this to the database. It should then be a simple matter to respond to future enquiries.

How you can help

Although you would be welcome to bring your photographs in to the Family History Centre at any time (just give us a phone call, to let us know you are coming), we intend to hold a series of Photograph Open Days, to be run by our inputting team, when we shall also have our experts available to advise on dating and caring for your photographs. Have a look at the ‘Events’ page on this website to check for dates arranged.

Once the project is up and running, we may be able to extend it beyond Sherborne, by seeking the aid of the Society’s Groups to run similar Photograph Open Days.

We do have some criteria we need to observe to keep the database relevant to Somerset and Dorset.

  • The photographs must be of people born in, or who have lived in, one or both of the two counties.
  • Ideally no more than 3 images of one individual, for instance taken in youth, aged 20- 50, and 50 +.
  • At least one of the subjects needs to be identified by name.
  • A location and date, if only approximate, is desirable.

We would also like to have your permission to supply copies of photos to other researchers (we would make a nominal charge for this service, to cover costs).

We would also be interested in any old photographs of places and buildings in the two counties with known family associations; for example houses, churches, halls, pubs and hotels, farms, factories, railway stations, and anything of this sort.

To keep things manageable, we may, regrettably, have to decline offers which fall outside of the guidelines above.

Project Team

Graham Bendell (Project Sponsor); inputters - Cath Adam; Michael and Wendy Lugg; Roger Marsh; Richard Walton. Adviser - Robin Ansell.

Please contact us if you have an interest in, or special knowledge of photographs, and would like to join the Project Team.