How To Store Old Photographs?

If you are like most people, you probably have shoe boxes full of old photographs sitting around a closet somewhere in your house. The problem with this is you are leaving the important memories and images susceptible to time. Like any other form of art, it is important for you to take care and properly store old photographs, to make sure each is able to last for future generations to see and enjoy. In order to make sure of this, there are a few different steps you need to follow in order to prevent any possible damage.

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License: Creative Commons image source

Avoid Moisture

The problem with storing your photographs in dark places around the house is these locations are usually your basement or attic. These are also the two most likely areas to suffer water damage. Even if there is no leak, the potential for moisture to deteriorate your pictures is great. Due to this, you either need to move the photographs to a cool, dry location, or install a dehumidifier into the room. This prevents the moisture build up and keeps your photographs looking pristine.

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Avoid Sticking Together

Pictures easily fit together, but the problem with this is eventually, over time, the pictures are going to stick together. When you try to separate the pictures this might end up in part of the image tearing off. To avoid this, it is very important for you to make sure the pictures are never directly touching one another. One great way to do this is through a photo album. Each photo has its own protective sleeve, so the worst that can happen is the sleeve pages sticking together. Of course, you still need to make sure the photographs are left in a cool, dry atmosphere though.

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Touching

You probably like to pull out your photographs and show them off. However, the oil in your hands actually deteriorates the processing on the photo paper. This leads to smudges or other problems with the image. To avoid touching the photograph you have a few options. First, simply leaving it in a holder for display is desirable, but if you must have access to the image, try to hold it by the edges. You can hold the image by the edges and reduce the exposure the photo has to your skin’s oils. Wearing gloves also helps. There is a reason why photo developers wear gloves while developing the image, as the oil from their skin destroys the process.

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Professional Container

Instead of tossing the pictures into a box where all are susceptible to bending, professional containers are designed for the photo size and prevent moisture, sun exposure and touching.

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Behind Glass

It might just be time for you to get around to framing your favorite photographs. By putting the images behind glass it is going to protect the pictures from the elements and ensure future generations are able to see these special moments in time. You just need to make sure to keep the photographs out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight fades the images and reduces the quality of the pictures. There isn’t anything you can do to correct fading once it happens. To keep the pictures out of direct sunlight you can place the framed images on the wall next to windows. This gives the images light but keeps it out of the direct exposure from the sun.

When it comes to protecting your precious memories, it’s necessary to keep photos out of the light, remove all moisture from the air in the room and keep the pictures from touching one another. Uploading your photos and digitizing them is also a great way to make sure you always have a back up.

Paul Benjamin is a District Manager for EZ Storage Self Storage Philadelphia, a company providing secure and clean storage units since 1970.