TWIN FALLS — Want to help solve a few mysteries? You’ll have a chance Saturday at the Twin Falls Public Library.
Over the decades, folks have donated many, many photos of people, places and buildings — some labeled and some not — and reference librarian Jennifer Hills needs your help identifying them.
And while it may be fun for younger generations to see the photos, Hills is looking for older residents who may have known some of the people or be familiar with some of the places in the photos.
Twin Falls architect Harald Gerber’s family donated to the library many slides, negatives and photos from the mid-20th century. But with more information, the photos would be even more valuable.
Things around the valley don’t look like they used to, she said. Two people may see the same photo, but the photo may bring up different memories for each.
“I’ve seen from going through the old photos that depending on when a picture was taken and how old you are,” Hills said, “your perspective and memory may be completely different from someone else’s.”
In addition, addresses may have changed because buildings were moved or, more likely, streets were renamed. Streets in downtown Twin Falls have been renamed not once but twice since its 1904 beginning.
“Some of the subjects in the photos are obvious,” Hills said. “But there may be other things — or a person — in the photo that someone might recognize.”
She hopes the library’s “photo ID party” will be like going through a surprise box of family pictures at a reunion. Many of the photos haven’t seen the light of day in decades.
All this information is invaluable to the library as the main depository of the town’s history. Hills hopes to hold more parties in the future.
“We are looking for factual information about the photos,” Hills said. “But we would also like to hear people’s stories about how and what they remember.”
The library will provide photos to peruse and work sheets for memories.
“The more people who can verify the photos, the more accurate our documentation can be,” Hills said. “We will never know the whole story, but something in a photo may spark a memory.”
Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the more information that comes together, the clearer the picture becomes, she said.
“Research always opens up another window.”