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a temporary space for homeless photos
Welcome to Adopt a Photo! Adopt a Photo displays historical photographs of people for the purpose of providing a temporary space for homeless photos found in antique malls, stores and private collections. It is hoped that photographs can be claimed by relatives who are researching genealogy. A few of the photos are privately owned and have been loaned to The web site was created and is maintained by Anne White.

NEW! Photos from Family Album Mysteries, the Link family of Wisconsin.

Photos from Salida, CO, Townsend, NE, Chicago, IL, Springfield, OH and a group photo of Beta Theta Pi in Boulder, CO.

Photo of Gordon Cooper, the astronaut.

These photos of children are just crying for adoption! Stairstep Siblings, Naked Wonder!, Posing on Fur, Early Century, All Dressed for Easter, Baby with a Mug of Beer.

These photos are of groups of people taken for institutions such as schools and churches. Marshmellow Roast, Thirtieth Continental Congress 1921, Catholic School, East St. Louis, IL., Arlington High School, Concordia Gesang Vevein, Baptist Church, IL., Bible School, IL..

Just plain interesting! People in Old Car, Asian Couple, Heavyset Bride, African American, Trick Photography, Tintype, Classic Schoolmarm, Thoughtful Woman.

NEWSeeking Information: Grunfeld Family Album; Wolff Family Album; Ruby Chandler book; McCelland Family Album Mystery; Schroer Family Album Mystery; and the Sturgeon Family Album Mystery.
Recent adds! Photos: Man by Interesting Chair New Surnames: Young; Pippinger; Craig; Silver; Also these: Over twenty photos for Alton, Illinois.
Recent Names: Milliard and mother; Uncle Charlie; Grace Fich Scharumen?; Anita; Albert Schneider; Partridge; Patterson.

Also: Montana photos; Williams Institute of Embalming, 1925; Ryan Family; Kansas; Washington; Oklahoma Territory; and Nebraska.

See a description of our commemorative bookmark and Photo CD-ROM for Nauvoo, Illinois.

What is Adopt a Photo? Adopt a Photo is a temporary space for homeless photos. A certain sadness comes over us when we see a photograph nobody can claim. Each photograph represents someone's son or daughter; father or mother; friend or neighbor; or long-forgotten ancestor. Who is he? Where did she live? What happened to bring them here--without grandchildren to ask questions? Did they live a long, contented life? Or was life cut short by some tragedy? At best, photographs are merely memory extensions that will, in time, also fade. Each photograph is a statement that "this is the way it was at this moment in time." Adopt a Photo recognizes the potential of all individuals to contribute to improving the quality of life through their accomplishments, relationships, and the love and respect they show one another. For this reason we honor them here.

What is the purpose of Adopt a Photo? A goal of Adopt a Photo is for a long-lost photograph to be claimed by a descendant. Although it may be unlikely that a photograph will be found by a family member, it is hoped that all these photographs will be adopted by a caring custodian. Until then, Adopt a Photo will give them a home in cyberspace so that people all over the world can see, appreciate, and value the lives represented in the photographs. The photos are a gentle reminder that all humanity is interconnected and that even though we may know little about the person(s) in the pictures, we can recognize that at some point in time someone was proud of an accomplishment or celebrating an important moment.

How does Adopt a Photo work? Photographs discovered in antique stores throughout the United States will be posted at Our goal is to post at least one photograph from each state. You can search the photos by state, city of origin, or category. The photos seen here can be downloaded and used in ways that support Adopt a Photo's philosophy. Some of the photographs displayed on the web site are located in commercial establishments and may be purchased (adopted) directly from the owners by using the information provided. Custodians of these photographs are asked periodically to provide updated information. Some of the photographs may be purchased (adopted) from Adopt a Photo. These photos will be matted, framed, and will include an engraved brass plate with the registration number and web site address. When these photographs are displayed in commercial locations or homes, individuals viewing the photo will be able to find out more information by visiting

How Can I Adopt a Photo? Photos can be adopted in one of several ways: To adopt could mean that as you visit the site, you take time to value the lives represented by the photographs. You are free to enjoy looking and you may download the photos to use in ways that support our philosophy of honoring them as individuals. We encourage the use of the photos by teachers and students for educational purposes. If you wish to purchase a photograph you see on our website, please contact us for more information. We also encourage you to visit the antique stores listed on our site or stores in your area to find a photograph you can adopt. If you would like to register the found photo with adoptaphoto, please contact us for more information.

Family Album Mysteries: Sometimes a family member becomes custodian of a family album which, more than likely, has photographs of unidentified individuals who could be relatives or friends of deceased grandparents. Adopt a Photo has created a Family Album Mysteries page with links to pages or sites that honor such individuals. Contact Adopt a Photo if you have such an album and would like to submit a page of honor.

What if I have questions? Adopt a Photo welcomes inquiries or suggestions. Please e-mail or write us at the address on this website. If you have a historical photograph you would like to have displayed, you may submit for consideration the photograph as a .jpg file along with relevant information. If you would like to purchase (adopt) an available photograph posted on, contact Adopt a Photo.


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Updated March 29, 2013


Adopt a Photo
Anne White
P.O. Box 6172
Battlement Mesa, CO 81636