Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Protect Photos for the Longterm

I might get a bit of flack for posting this because I'm not a conservator, but...

It's really important if you have old photo albums to get your pictures out asap and put them in archival albums.

This album is from the 1980s. It had some kind of adhesive that would allow the picture to stay in place and be repositioned as needed. It was great at the time. Easy to use. No need for photo corners.

But as you can see, the chemicals in the adhesive and whatever the page was made of go through changes over time and cause staining on the page.

And the adhesive actually sticks to the back of the photograph. Not good!

We recommend that you carefully remove the photograph from the page and put it in an archival album - either photo or scrapbook will do. You can get these from Warehouse Stationery or more preferably from a conservation company such as Conservation Supplies. Conservation Supplies has photo pockets that are made for certain sized photos so there is no need for photo corners which can damage corners if not careful. If you have very old photos that are fragile, do not use photo corners. Conservation Supplies has photo albums too. If buying from Warehouse Stationery, make sure the album and photo corners are 'acid, lignin and pvc free'.

Acid-free paper and photo corners available from Warehouse Stationery and the Warehouse.

Using archival materials, place your photo on the new page. Remember to write who, what, when and where in pencil. Ink is a real no-no around photographs. And do not write on the photo.

An archival photo album will help protect your photos for the longterm by keeping them safe from dust, chemicals and UV light which can contribute to deterioration and loss of image.

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