A few months ago, I shared an interesting photographic mystery that piqued our curiosity: the seated picture of a woman from our bound 1869 Senate photograph album. We at the State Library wondered—who was she? What relationship did she have with the legislature in 1869? Was she an important figure in Massachusetts history? Unfortunately, we haven’t come any closer to an answer, but these questions did engender many spirited attempts to uncover her identity—and we have had a lot of fun throughout the process.
However, she is just the beginning of many more mysteries surrounding identity. While most of the legislators and officers in our legislative photograph collection (known also as Photograph 361) have been successfully identified, there are about 70 photographs that still remain otherwise. In an effort to attach names to these faces, as well as involve the public in this fun project, we have made all of the unidentified photographs available for viewing on our State Library Flickr account.
If you recognize any of these past members of the Massachusetts General Court, or have strong suspicions that you might know who one or more of them are, let us know by contacting the State Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.