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Photo Preservation and Display Methods

Article about: Hey Guys, A member recently asked me about photo preservation, and I thought it would be a good idea for a thread. So I will share a few different ways of keeping your photos safe, as well a

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    Default Photo Preservation and Display Methods

    Hey Guys,
    A member recently asked me about photo preservation, and I thought it would be a good idea for a thread.

    So I will share a few different ways of keeping your photos safe, as well as how to display them without putting them in harms way.

    We need to remember, a lot of our photos are actually important pieces of history, that will help future generations learn about the period. So lets try to take care of them properly while they are in our possession!!

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    A Few DO's and DON'TS

    * Make sure you are using ACID FREE materials to store your photos.

    ** Using normal lamination plastics Only, does not protect your photos!!
    It still allows light rays to pass through.....which causes a reaction to the acids used in All old photo paper. You can still use it, but make sure your photos are first protected by acid free Mylar film if you decide to use laminate photo album pages.


    *** Store photos in a Dark, moisture-free environment

    **** Do not just place photos in a frame. Protect them with Acid Free film sleeves first!

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    Here are a few examples of Acid Free Sleeves. There are different styles such as:

    - L - sleeves (have 2 of 4 sides of the sleeve open, photo goes in through side)
    - "Top-Loaders" (Only top of sleeve open)
    - Twist-Locks (top of sleeve flips over and secures to the back of sleeve, sealing the sleeve)


    These come in all different sizes, and have different flexibility options as well.
    Here are the 3 main different styles:
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    Last edited by Bill T; 09-15-2013 at 01:25 AM.

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    The "L" Sleeve:
    - Good for placing photos in for protection, before placement in albums/etc.
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    Last edited by Bill T; 09-15-2013 at 01:08 AM.

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    The "Top-Loader":
    - The non-flexible ones (shown on bottom) are a bit better IMO, as they are tighter on the photo and do not allow it to bend.
    - The flexible ones (on top) are still great, and offer good protection against spills/etc. You can use these before placing your photos in albums too

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    These are smaller sized "Top-Loaders" perfect for 6x9's and Death Cards:


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    The so called "Twist Locks"

    - These are basically top loaders that have a flap at top, so you can almost seal the sleeve off. These are great to use, and can be found in different styles/sizes.

    * You can use a basic top-loader and bend the top, and tape it down to create the same effect, as shown.
    (Please know that you can actually buy self-sealing ones, so you don't have to tape them....but I figured I would show this little trick)
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    Album Inserts

    * There are many different types of photo album inserts, and unfortunately the older ones with simple paper and "photo corners" were popular in the 1930'-50's. If you have the choice, this is not what you want to use to store your photos in. You can either buy a pre-made archival photo album that is ready for preservation.......or you can easily create your own.

    Here are some Album Insert idea's that I have personally used.

    * Acid-Free Film photo Sheets
    - The sheet film peels over, with a slightly sticky (harmless) adhesive to the back to prevent sliding.
    (I highly recommend placing your photos in acid-free sleeves before placing them in these photo sheets)

    - Simply buy a 3-ring binder and these sheets, with some toploader sleeves, and you are good to go! I actually still use these for some of my smaller sized snapshots/etc
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    Postcard Album Page Inserts (acid-free/polypropylene)

    * These are great because you can flip through and see both the front and reverse of your photos.
    * I again recommend placing your photos in sleeves before putting them into the album page inserts, for extra protection

    Downsides:
    * They do bend
    * Photos can fall out of them if album is tipped upside down
    * Smaller photos slide around/fall down...so PC sized photos fit best

    Examples of these in use:
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    Album Storage and Archival Albums/Boxes

    On top of what has already been said......Here are some tips to further help preservation of the album as a whole:

    * Store in a Dark, Dry, and Insect-free place, away from extreme temperatures.

    * If possible, store albums in archival boxes...which are simply boxes that fit over your albums, usually made from Polymer and polypropylene or similar materials including cardboard based.
    (I personally have been using a large Tupperware type of air-tight box to store mine. However, Archival albums and boxes can be bought on many websites)

    here are some examples:
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    Framing/displaying

    *This is always a personal preference, but there are ways to display photos with class, while keeping them preserved too.

    Simply use an Acid-Free Sleeve and place it in the Frame! Do not place photos freely in the frame, as light and other elements from the frames construction can harm your photo over time, not to mention get stuck to the glass!

    Quick example of what I'm talking about w/ the Sleeve:
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