Introduction

You probably have a story like this.

My mother took it upon herself to organize and digitize the family’s long-neglected stash of photos. Prints were pulled from literal shoeboxes, as well as albums and envelopes tucked in the backs of drawers. Black and white, sepia tone, color; yellowed by age and old chemical processes; worn at the edges and vignetted in ways that today’s apps try so hard to emulate digitally.

Most details of the people and places in the pictures were lost or had changed over time, but she had an advantage: flipping the photos over often revealed valuable information about the shots, usually scribbled in pencil as an afterthought because the photographer or family member at the time knew who and what was depicted. ...

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