Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Overson Negative Project

 My Great-grandmother Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson was one of the earliest female photographers in Arizona. Following in the footsteps of her father Charles Jarvis, who was also a photographer, she took thousands of photographs from the early 1900s until around 1950. Many of those photos were published in her genealogy book:

Overson, Margaret Godfrey Jarvis. George Jarvis and Joseph George De Friez Genealogy. Mesa?, Ariz: M.G. Jarvis Overson, 1957.

She is in the center of both these photos seated by her husband, my Great-grandfather Henry Overson.  The first photo was taken about 1929. The second photo was likely taken about 1945.

I knew that she had likely taken hundreds, if not thousands of photos, but had no idea where the originals might be. My daughter, Amy, put a request for information in her blog, and after three years we were contacted by a cousin who had the original negatives. I originally under-estimated the number of negatives. I have been processing the negatives for about 10 months now and have processed over 2,300 images so far. The entire collection will end up in a major university collection.

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