Sometimes, old photographs are all we have left to recreate our family's history. They are irreplaceable pieces of our life and genealogy. That's why, we must store them appropriately to avoid damage caused by light, temperature, humidity, water pests, or poor storage.
Would you like to know how to protect your photos?
Read these tips on how to archive your old photographs and preserve those family heirlooms for future generations.
- Protect your photos from light. Photographs thrive in the dark. Overexposure to light will cause photos to eventually fade. A safer option for framing treasured photos is to display a high-quality copy while archiving the original image.
- Digitize your most prized photographs. I would suggest having the original, the digital copy, and a high-quality print.
- Store old photographs at constant temperatures below 75°F or 23.8°C.
- Keep the humidity levels in photo storage areas between 15% and 65%.
- Keep old photographs away from areas prone to insects and rodents.
- Store old photographs away from areas prone to leaks. Shelves are a safer option to avoid water damage.
- Store old photographs in acid-free and lignin-free photo boxes. The photos can be stored flat or upright without bending or creasing.
- Don't use paper clips, rubber bands, tape, glue, adhesive, ballpoint pens, and non-archival quality papers. They can stain and damage the photo paper. Certain chemicals and plastics can cause your old photographs to decay or stick together.
- Don't use a pen to write on the photo. Use a pencil on the back of the picture if you need to document names, dates, and locations. Allow ink to dry before stacking your photos.
- Avoid storing old photographs in attics, basements, or garages. Temperature and humidity fluctuate in those places, leading to mold, chemical decay, or brittleness.
If you follow these recommendations about how you can preserve your family's old photographs, they should last for many years.
If you need to hire a photo restoration professional to restore priceless heirlooms, contact me. I provide photo restoration services and will do my best to bring them back to life. I can restore ripped, stained, or otherwise damaged photos.