Main Line Genealogy Club
Easttown Library
720 First Avenue, Berwyn, PA

“Genealogy Photography”

By Bruce Katsiff & Rachel Wetzel


This joint presentation will briefly review the history of photography beginning with Daguerre and Talbot and their early experiments to capture images from the Camera Obscura without the use of the human hand. We will also explore a variety of image recording processes that developed in the second half of the 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century. For 150 years analog photographic processes were the only method of recording lens images. The current revolution in digital sensors has been rapidly replacing light sensitive silver salts as the means of recording photographic images. We now live in a time when the technology of “film” has been converted from analog to digital. This change has only heightened the interest early photographic processes. However, the analog images made from silver sensitive salts are susceptible to deterioration and require their own unique set of storage and housing parameters to ensure their longevity. Together we will provide the audience with the knowledge on how to identify and preserve these precious and fragile objects. 


Bruce Katsiff's Bio:


Born in Philadelphia, Bruce Katsiff studied photography at Rochester Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute earning BFA and MFA degrees after graduating from Central High School. He completed postgraduate studies at Oxford University. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Delaware Art Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. For 25 years he taught photography and was a college arts administrator. From 1989-2012, he served as Director/CEO of the James A. Michener Art Museum in Bucks County. Currently, he serves as a peer accreditation and MAP reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums and teaches in the graduate Museum Leadership program at Drexel University. He has served on many boards of cultural institutions. Bruce and his wife Jo live in center city Philadelphia.

Rachel Wetzel's Bio:


Rachel Wetzel  has been a photograph conservator at the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts since 2007. She received her BA in Art History & Architecture and Studio Arts in 1997 from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MA degree with a certificate in Art Conservation in 2005 from the State University of New York, Buffalo State College. She holds a certificate for the completion of the Advanced Residency Program in Photograph Conservation at the George Eastman House.  Prior to joining CCAHA, she completed internships at the George Eastman House and the Image Permanence Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology, both in Rochester NY, Heugh-Edmonson Conservation, LLC, at the private conservation studio of Paul Messier and at the Library of Congress.  She is the current recipient of a two-year Research & Development Grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities to create a searchable, online catalog of the collective works of pioneering, Philadelphia-based daguerreotypist Robert Cornelius. 


Please Plan to Join Us

Before the Start of Our Meetings

At 12:30 PM

to Review Your Genealogy Issues

with Members of Our Planning Committee

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There is no charge to attend the meetings, only a voluntary donation (suggested $5.00.) If you have questions or need directions call Bruce Arnold at:

Phone: 610-431-6326
Cell: 610-420-8166
Member: MLGC Planning Committee