Photography is a window to the past.
But while taking pictures became popular from the late 19th century the photographers have been less inclined to also record what they were photographing.
The senior curator at the State Library of NSW Alison Wishart is a guest speaker and will run a workshop at Friday’s history element of the Orange Readers and Writers Festival.
“The workshop is going to be about interrogating old photographs and using them, as best we can, as historical documents.”
Ms Wishart said that while modern digital images have built-in metadata recording information about the photo, such information needed to be written down and connected to photographs.
And such information was not well recorded before the 1940s.
She said that fashions worn in the photo or the age of cars pictured were guides they were not definitive.
“They will give us a date range, but that’s all.”
Ms Wishart said she would provide tips to help people research history through photos.
She said black and white images had stood the test of time far better than colour images.
“Colour prints just don’t age well. They fade terribly,” she said.
Tickets cost $35 for Voices from the Past: Uncovering Local and Personal Stories at the Hotel Canobolas from 10am-3.30pm.
Book at http://historycouncilnsw.org.au/voices-past-orange-readers-writers-festival/