Imagine seeing a pile of old photographs and documents resting in the garbage, moments away from embarking on a voyage to the landfill. That is what Michael French saw one day in the spring of 2010 at an estate sale. After striking quick glances to his left and right, he rescued them from their impending doom and helped preserve some memories in the process.
Mr. and Mrs. Juan Garcia y familia.
French's later donation to the archives, now tentatively known as the Michael French Collection, contains photographs, receipts, letters, and other materials related to a man named Carlos Trujillo.
Postcard to Elias Trujiloo, Bellemont, Arizona, labeled "un recuerdo a mi querido papa, Pvt. Jose Trujillo."
Some of the individuals in the photographs came with descriptions attached, but many, including the images on the right, remain unidentified.
Thanks to Michael French, the records found safekeeping, but now archivists and staff must work to identify the unknown photographs and help families discover or rediscover lost stories and relatives.