Collage of historic pictures

Look Back at the Past

Lost and Found at the Dundas County Archives

One never knows what they might find in a box hidden away in an attic. It is as if one was on a pirate quest, and you have discovered a treasure chest. It is more likely, though, to find a box of unidentified photographs. So many such photographs have arrived here. While they provide a rare glimpse into a different time and place, and are much appreciated for that fact, it is also a chore to try to figure out ANYTHING about the subject in the picture. Without any form of identification, they are mysterious, anonymous and essentially lost to history. If we knew who they were, we would have so much more available to us to be able to research the story of the individuals pictured. They should help to tell a story about someone, to provide a memory of their life. Without this, they are just an image printed on paper.

First, I appeal to those who may read this, to PLEASE make some form of identification on the back of your photos. Ideally, this should be done in pencil so as not to damage the print. In a perfect world, one should then place the print delicately into an acid free folder for safety. While I may permit myself to be giddy with the delirium of potential, I will freely admit that we are in no way a perfect world. When a photograph is identified, they are in a sense immortalized. Their memory lives on. We know who they were, how they lived, who they were connected to. Without identification the are simply an image “unidentified and unknown”. 
I am hoping that by posting some of these lost images that perhaps someone will recognize someone and let me know who they are. In a way, I am looking for people to claim identities in the photograph lost and found. It may not be the pot of gold but I would very much appreciate it if you would reach out to me at the Dundas County Archives if you can identify anyone in any of these photographs. Let’s give these people their due place in history. They once lived in Dundas County and had a family to love and share their lives with. Let’s get these people out of the lost and found! If you can identify anyone, even if only a suspicion, please email me at  

Written by Susan Peters
Dundas County Archives

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