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Family History for Kids

Family Photographs

African American family posed for portrait seated on lawn
Isadora Noe Freeman and Mary Christiana Freeman. Ca. 1859. William Clarence and Mary Alice Wheeler McNeill Family Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

Photographs immediately take us into the past, to the world of our ancestors. Start in your own home and find as many photos as you can. They may already be labeled with the names of the people pictured, the date and place the photo was taken. Or, you may have a mystery to solve. You can make copies of these photographs to share with relatives or to use in making crafts and gifts.

Check the public libraries where your ancestors lived to look for newspapers, yearbooks, and histories that might have pictures of your family members. Sharing photographs can spark conversations about family history and raise new questions for research.

This select bibliography lists examples of books about using and preserving photographs to document your family history. Ask your librarian to help you find these and other books.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

These are examples of online collections you can use to learn about your family and the times and places they experienced.