Preserve albums, displays and negatives
Best storage solution—albums and scrapbooks
Photo albums and scrapbooks (made of materials that pass
the Photographic Activity Test (PAT) with paper pages and plastic
cover sheets provide the best storage for your photographs. Each picture is
completely enclosed and the pages provide support. Place the album in a custom
fitted archival box.
Use paper or plastic corners that pass the PAT to secure
your photos to the album pages. You fold them into a triangular pocket and
slide the photos into them. They have a small amount of safe adhesive on the
back that you moisten to make them stick. You can use 2 (one each in opposite
corners) for small photos, but use 4 for large ones.
adhesives, pressure-sensitive tapes, staples. There are safe adhesive made of
purified starch paste and adhesives made of methyl cellulose (Dow A4M MC) or
other modified cellulose. Apply in small dots on back of the photo.
Captions can be
written with an acid-free pen or typed. Just be sure the paper and printing ink
is free of acid and lignin. Use caution with colorful additions to scrapbooks;
colored dyes can bleed onto photos.
A properly mounted framed
photo has an archival quality mat and paper backing, and protective glass
cover. The mat will form a barrier between the photo and the glass and prevent
the photo from sticking to the glass. Rotate your displayed photos to minimize
exposure to light. Or, Make good copies and frame that. Store the original.
Negatives and slides
Store negatives in PAT standard enclosures. Film-based
negatives produce acidic vapors as they age, so surround them with alkaline buffered
paper to absorb the acid and store them separately from other negatives and
photos. The best way to store film-based negatives is low-humidity, cold
storage. Any film-based negatives that are sticky, bubbly, wavy, flaking, or
smell vinegary are a danger to your collection and should be removed.
Store slides in PAT standard slide cases, boxes, or
plastic slide pages. That way they will be well supported and organized.
“Care, Handling, and Storage of Photographs” Library of Congress
“Preparing Your Family Treasures” Library of Congress
“Preserving Family Papers” National Archives
for your Photographs” American Institute for Conservation of Historic and
Artistic Works (AIC), provided by Stanford University
More preserve photos
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