Written by: Emily Cottle
Here in the archives we’ve been doing a lot of work on photograph collections lately and thought that our readers might benefit from a few tips for dealing with your own family photograph collections.
The following are just a few of the great resources available online to help you get started with preserving your family’s materials.
- Caring for your family archives from the National Archives and Records Administration, http://www.archives.gov/preservation/family-archives/
- Care, Handling, and Storage of Photographs from the Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/preservation/care/photo.html
- CCAHA Preservation Bulletins, http://www.ccaha.org/publications/technical-bulletins
- Caring for Private and Family Collections from Northeast Document Conservation Center, http://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preserving-private-and-family-collections/caring-for-private-and-family-collections
- Guide to caring for your treasures from American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, http://www.conservation-us.org/about-conservation/caring-for-your-treasures
Below are a summary of just a few of the tips you’ll find in the sources listed above:
- Photographs last longest in areas that are a stable (preferably cool) temperature that is not damp.
- Avoid using rubber bands to group photos as they dry out and stick to the photos, causing damage.
- Use photo corners to mount items in scrapbooks or albums – that way you can easily remove the photos and you avoid putting glue or adhesive directly on the photos.
- Store photos in boxes with lids and without handholds if possible to prevent dust and pests from damaging photos.
- Avoid framing and leaving valuable family photographs on display for long periods of time. Instead, make a copy and display that. Fading caused by light damage is irreversible.
Visit the sites listed above to learn more or post specific questions in the comments below.