Why am I a genealogist? Jack Finney’s time-travel novel, Time and Again, explains it best:
Because I’ve always felt a wonder at old photographs not easy to explain. Maybe I don’t need to explain; maybe you’ll recognize what I mean. I mean the sense of wonder, staring at the strange clothes and vanished backgrounds, at knowing that what you’re seeing was once real. That light really did reflect into a lens from these lost faces and objects. That these people were really there once, smiling into a camera. You could have walked into the scene then, touched those people, and spoken to them. You could actually have gone into that strange outmoded old building and seen what now you never can – what was just inside the door.
Because the good ones, the really clear sharp photographs, are so real; insert a view, slide it into focus, and the old scene leaps out […]