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Collecting Vintage Photos

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  • Collecting Vintage Photos

    I want to begin to collect an inventory of photos from different time periods - like WWII, or the depression.

    Does anyone know of or use any collectibles sites that offer photos that are not too expensive?

    I'd appreciate any tips you can offer.

    ccdesktop/Barbara Kessling

  • #2
    Hi Barbara!

    I often buy old photos at antique shops. You might give that a try. The local antique shops here (Central Ohio) usually have a good selection and the prices usually range from $1 to $5... Or possibly $10 for a large photo in excellent shape. I've even found complete photo albums for around $8...


    • #3
      You might also try estate sales and/or auctions. I haven't been to any myself, but I have a friend who goes all the time and is on the look-out for me. I was told by an antique dealer in town that if the photos contain "historical" photos mixed in with random "people" photos, the bidding might go a little high, but if you're mostly interested in people photos, then you could always talk to the person who bought the box of photos and explain what you want. If the person isn't interested in the same thing as you (and is just going to discard those photos anyway), you might even get them free.



      • #4
        CCdesktop: I don't think it's necessary to buy anything.
        I have done searches on "Old B&W Pictures/Photos" many times and found more than one could ever d/l and store.
        Try the WPA, a 1930s work program by Roseveldt, that hired photographers and artists to document the times.
        There are many pics of the dust bowl folks, and imigration from OK etc.
        Also the Smithsonion has millions of photos.
        The goverment has many achives, just search Google.


        • #5
          If you are looking for original photos to begin a Private collection/archive of specific time period photos / historic photo process examples ( such as Albumen, collodian, gelatin and the like), the above suggestions are good places to start. Add to those already mentioned, swap meets, garage sales and puruse the Misc. section in the "For Sale" section of the local newspapers, weekly thrift flyers, thrift stores, Pawn shops and so on.
          Also equip yourself with at least the following books:
          (1) Collector's Guide to Early Photographs by O. Henry Mace
          (2) Conservation of Photographs published by the Eastman Kodak Company
          (3) American Victorian Costume in Early Photographs by Priscilla Harris Dalrymple ( only if collecting pre-1900 photos...very amusing reading and valuable resource on dating Photos by clothing style)
          (4) Dressed for the Photographer by Joan Severa ( Not light reading but very informative and highly valuable guide to dating pre 1900 photos by clothing style. *Caution*...expensive,tedious at times but a gold mine of info...)
          Also check the links section for the link to " Light Impressions", a business which specalizes in Archival storage stuff....proper storage of your collection is a must....Good luck!! Tom


          • #6

            Dear Thomas,
            Thanks for the bounty of information. I will look into the book sources you mentioned. I have the light impressions catalog, and do understand the need for purchasing proper storage materials. I have a long way to go to become as professional as I would like to be at this..but at least the goals and the means to get there are taking shape. You are a great help and resource - thanks again!
            Barb Kessling


            • #7
              The only key to attaining your goal is to Love the work and never ever loose the child like awe,wonder and magnificent mystery this work provides. Approach it with that attitude and you will do just fine! ....Lots of reading about your particular field of interest is also necessary..but is usually Fun!! Tom


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