a sense of face
Rebecca Fenning has been researching her family history since the age of 13, when she became curious about the identities of the faces in a box of family photographs and set out to learn more about them. Her collection of family photos has grown since then, thanks especially to the relatives who let her “steal” things to scan and return later, as has the number of faces she can identify. Searching for a way to transmit the stories she has discovered about her ancestors, she began A Sense of Face in 2007, where she uses photographs as a starting point for sharing her family’s history.
This interest in the photographic side of genealogy is complimented by her interest in photography, something she began pursuing seriously in 2005. In addition to the more modern film cameras she prefers to shoot with, Rebecca also has a collection of vintage cameras, (nearly) all of them functional. Many of these cameras are what she calls “ancestral” and were used by various members of her family in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Not content to just look at them on a shelf, she uses these cameras regularly and develops their black and white products in her kitchen sink.
Rebecca is a second-generation Los Angeles native, and is currently the Manuscripts and Archives Librarian at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library of UCLA, where she spends a lot of time poring over 17th and 18th century handwriting. She holds a BA in English and Film Studies from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and a MS in Library Science from Simmons College in Boston. She participates in various trans-continental collaborative photography projects such as Whales and Bunnies, and Color Collecting, and shares her photographic endeavors on Flickr.
Join Shades 7 November for Friday From The Collectors when Rebecca Fenning shows us that everything old is new again; at least to us. This is an article not to miss!