A Mystery Discovered Inside a Library Book

By Maureen A. Taylor

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Imagine finding a treasure in a library book. That’s exactly what happened to Ansel Wilson’s father in the 1960s!

He took a book out of the San Antonio Library and a negative slipped out. Someone was probably using it for a bookmark and left it behind.

Ansel’s father kept it all these years. Since his passion was photography, he couldn’t throw it away. I wonder why he never had it printed. In those days you could walk into a camera shop or photo processing place and make prints. Today we’re mostly reliant on our smart phones and scanners to capture those negatives and turn them into positives.

Here’s the negative:


If you have negatives you’d like to scan, you’ll be happy to know that the folks at FamilySearch have already tested scanners and they have a handy blog post on how to capture the best scans of negatives.

Here’s the positive view:


The hat and the peaked shoulder seamed coat date this picture to c. 1904. Big long hatpins held these oversize hats on a woman’s head. It could be a mother and two daughters.

Anyone recognize these women?