How do I preserve photos?
Photographs are often the most cherished items of your history. They visually tell the story of your life experiences, milestones and family life.
Older photos allow us to link to previous generations and connect more closely with our past. Today we will learn how to properly preserve these cherished pieces.
- Archival albums
- Archival photo boxes
- Archival quality plastic photo sleeves
Archival Photo Albums
The internet and fine stationery stores offer a selection of archival (acid-free) quality albums. Verify that the album is acid-free and choose the appropriate size for your photos. Avoid glues and tapes which can yellow your photos. Choose archival adhesive mounting corners. Here are a sampling of mounting corner suppliers:
Line Co: www.Lineco.com
Archival Methods: www.archivalmethods.com
(Never use tape or glue to keep photos in place as this can lead to staining and paper damage.)
Archival Photo Boxes
Choose an acid-free archival box, making sure the photos can be stored either flat or upright without bending. Supply companies that provide archival photo boxes include:
Archival Plastic Photo Sleeves
When purchasing plastic covers for your photos, make sure they are archival polyester sleeves. Check above for archival supply company suggestions.
Wish to Display Old Photographs?
As you know, photographs will fade and discolor in the light. The older the photograph, the more vulnerable the image is to fading and discoloration. If you wish to frame and display an old photograph, begin by making a good copy with a high-quality camera or by digital scanning. Once copied, frame and display the reproduction, and store the original according to the guidelines above.
(If you are unsure how to copy your old photographs, or if the photos to be copied are fragile or damaged, you may want to seek out a photo restoration professional. Restorers can remove flaws, repair damage, and make copies of the photo for you. Request an estimate before proceeding.)
(Never use magnetic sticky sheets as they will severely damage or destroy your photos.)
You Can Do This!
Gather those photos, get your supplies, archive your treasures and future generations will thank you!
Sources: The National Archives, American Library Association and the Winter Park History Museum