Monday, February 28, 2011

"Ghost Signs" -- another resource?

Hat tip to the COOK-CO-IL Rootsweb mailing list for alerting me to another category of potential historical information: Ghost Signs.

This site is a work in progress by Nicole Donohoe, MS candidate in Historic Preservation at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago. By a rough estimate there about 170 ghost Chicago signs listed with addresses, and about 70 are linked to pictures. I like the very faded "Daily News" signs, among the last public relics of a great newspaper. But the cartage and boarding stable is a keeper too.

As if I needed more ways to waste time, I find that on Flickr a search on "ghost signs" produced 15,272 results. A group photo pool with that title has 14,819 images and claims 1,667 members. Clearly I'm a bit late to the party, but in a sense that's the whole point (we're not collecting current signs, for heaven's sake!).

No, I don't know how to cite them, but if I ever need to I'll check Evidence Explained and find a way. Certainly the address and date of viewing would be essential elements, and a quick digital photo would be a memory-enhancer.

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