Creating a wall of memories using family photographs can be a personal and unique statement of family life.
Prints illustrating your family name origins together with a crest illustration are readily available on the internet. Although they have absolutely no genealogical merit they can be an interesting decorative item for your study. They can be framed without a mount in “old world” frames, or with decorative double mats and a suitable frame. Spouse’s family names can be shown together in a single frame.
Family photographs do have personal relevance and we often advise our clients about framing and hanging them in a “family wall”. Stairways and hallways are good locations.
Photos covering a wide time span should be presented in frames each consistent with the era in which they were taken. They can then be hung in chronological groups. If you are lucky, they will range from sepia, through black and white, hand colouring and full colour. You should always frame digital copies of the originals, keeping the original prints and the digital file in a safe place.
You can also present them as collages in one frame (don’t use prints that are too large). See our section on multi-opening mounts. Such collages can be groups, reflecting an event, a holiday or a gathering.
More formal mat arrangements are used by family historians as “drop charts”. A straightforward five generation chart will contain 31 pictures (excluding siblings); there may be layout complications due to your family’s “social history”. It is best to keep the photos small and all the same size. Try to keep spouses facing each other, as they do in life, (most of the time), by reversing an image if needed.
The group layout is very much dependent on the wall space available. Look at Pinterest.com, where you will find many excellent and imaginative layout suggestions. See out section on “Installations’.
When you have photographs framed, always write relevant information on the back. Future generation will appreciate it, even if they don’t at the moment.