Preserving Precious, Old Photos Using the Right Materials

October 5, 2019Mandi Morrison

About a trillion pictures are taken every single day, all over the world. For many, they take the pictures to freeze that special moment for years. This makes it a main concern for people looking to preserve these special memories.

Further, family photos are a possession you would want to be protected and given utmost care since it’s devastating if you lose them. The right way to store old photos is by acquiring the right supplies and materials to create the best storage system. Many professionals advise that you shouldn’t handle your old photographs, which is why you should learn how to preserve them the right way the first time.

Get Rid of Old Albums

Remove the photos from their older peel and stick or magnetic albums since the materials may do more harm than good to your photos. If you purchase a photo album, make sure you get one that is labelled ‘acid-free.’

Visit your nearest photo supply shop or hobby store to find the safest album for your photos. Make sure you remove any paper clips, staples, glue, or tape that’s likely to dent or stain your photographs before placing them in your acid-free album, frame, or box.

Label Photos

Make sure you use a permanent marker to label each photo’s back and remember to include as much information as you can, including ages and names of those in the picture. Doing this helps ease identifying people when someone inherits them many years from now.

Don’t use your everyday ballpoint pen to label pictures. Pressure from these writing instruments can easily damage the photograph. In addition, ballpoint ink fades with time, reducing your efforts at labelling to naught for future generations.

Using Technology

It is important that you have physical copies of your old photographs around, but it helps if you have a backup close by. In case of a fire, you will be confident that your memories are not lost forever. So, it’s critical you should consider having old pictures scanned to a hard drive or any other convenient digital storage.

Fortunately, several service providers, such as EverPresent, that can do this for you, no matter how many photographs you have lying around. You can also preserve digital copies of the photographs by uploading them to a cloud server.

Proper Storage

Keep your physical photographs in PVC sleeves, which are easily available at craft stores and photo supply outlets. Another alternative is storing the pictures in clear plastic sandwich bags. If you have a large amount of pictures, layer them between acid-free paper sheets in cardboard or metal boxes.

Huge photo archive boxes are also a great idea of storage, especially because you can stack them in a closet, cabinet, or even slid them under beds when storage space is unavailable. Keep your photos in areas that are not too hot or too cold.

Bonus Tips

Use clean, cotton gloves as you handle your old photos. Oils from your fingers can damage precious family photos easily. Ensure that you provide photos with ample support during sorting and identification since they are fragile.

When framing precious heirlooms, consider having them duplicated before they are placed under the glass. Alternatively, frame the copy and keep the original somewhere safe and away from light.

Conclusion

In most homes, they store old photographs in stacks of boxes on shelves or in garages, where they collect dust. Unfortunately, few people realize that these old photos and documents are fragile and that they require extra care. Using the tips above, you don’t have to be an expert conservator to preserve your precious memories for generations.

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