Friday, May 29, 2009

Seeing Double!

As an intern volunteering at the State Library's Special Collection Department, I have a few projects that I work on. One of them is the ongoing database project, the goal of which is to allow public access to 8,000 photographs of World War I soldiers from New England that was donated to the State Library by the Boston Globe. Photographs are not the only source of information; some information can also be found on the photo envelope such as name, rank, unit, and the occasional newspaper clipping as well as an index card collection (though there is not a card for every photo) with additional information such as address and date the information was printed about the soldier.

On Wednesday afternoon, while I was scanning the second box of photographs for the day, I noticed something odd. I was previewing image number P359_2503 to make sure the scan of the photo would be perfect and I became confused. The individual in the photo look almost identical to the photograph I had scanned just previously. So naturally I checked to make sure that I was not scanning the same photo twice; I had not. I then double checked what unit each man had belonged to and those were different as well. I had stumbled upon two men with the same last names from different units that looked to be brothers if not twins. Abraham Fenno of the 101st Infantry Company C (left) and Patrick Fenno of 101st Machine Gun Company (right). The lost twins are found again!

Samantha Westall, Intern