photograph showcase, tips, treasures

Learning New Things

ELLIS, Margaret, toddler - smaller for FT
My sweet grandmother, Mary Margaret Ellis.

Last week was filled with learning new things.  On Thursday night I made my favorite discovery of the week while working at my local Family History Center.

This time of year I know that if the weather is nice we usually don’t have patrons come into the center.  Last Thursday was an especially nice day so I took a small stack of photos with me to scan.  The only patrons that came in were either attending a class or they were using one of the scanners and didn’t need assistance.  So, I spent my whole 2 hour shift scanning.

As I worked through the stack I had brought, I found a small bundle of negatives inside of a letter written to my grandmother by her older sister Beth.  I was excited to see what the photos were and held a bunch up to the light.  There were some sweet little gems in there.  As I was checking them out, a fellow consultant walked into the room and said, “You know our scanner can scan negatives don’t you?”

Well blow me down!


I DID NOT know that.

I got a quick lesson and proceeded to scan the stack of negatives.  Among them was this very sweet photo of my grandmother that I don’t recall having seen before.  A new treasure that I am delighted to have!

I have so many photo negatives at home.  SO. MANY.

Now that I know I can scan them at the center, I can save a bunch of pennies I was planning to spend having them professionally digitized.

But now I wonder how it would do with more modern photos?  Like the thousands of negatives I have saved from my whole life…

The lesson?

Know what resources are freely available to you.


I have been working at my local Family History Center for nearly 5 years.  I use the scanner all of the time and had no idea it could do this!  Such a happy discovery.

Happy Monday, I hope you make a fantastic genealogy discovery today!



18 thoughts on “Learning New Things”

  1. Love the photo of your pretty grandmother with that adorable bow in her hair! I also love your genealogy discovery. Thanks for sharing the scanner hint for negatives!

  2. Great photo—how does the scanner turn the negative into a photograph? That is very cool! So do you work often at the FHL?

    1. Thank you Amy, I love it! The scanner has different settings so you switch it to “film” and then you have a few other choices like positive and negative film, etc. There is also a special tray you put on the glass that holds the negative in place. You also have to remove the white – tray?, not sure what to call it, in the lid.

      I work at my local Family History Center every Thursday night. I love it! It’s wonderful to get to help people with their brickwalls or sometimes people who are just starting.

  3. What a cutie! Oh, how wonderful to be able to scan negatives! I had to pay a fortune to get my glass negatives digitized. I wonder if you can even do glass negatives.

    1. Good question Luanne, I’m not sure. I have never seen a glass negative so I’m not familiar enough with them to know the answer. I’m really excited that I can save that money for something else and scan myself. And thank you, she really was darling wasn’t she. 🙂

      1. I should post a photo of my glass negatives sometime. They are so interesting. Yes, that works out so well for you to be able to scan them and not have to pay to get them done. She was so cute!

  4. This is something I recently learned about, too. The thing about this lesson is that we are often so very busy with the other parts of our lives that learning more about the tech devices we use often passes us by.

    1. Exactly. I have used that scanner many, many times and didn’t realize it could scan negatives. I wonder how many other features of the various tech items I have access to have passed me by?

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