With enough care, treasured vintage photos can last much longer than you might think—the world’s oldest surviving photograph dates all the way back to 1826!
If you’ve inherited old photos from parents or grandparents, you might be wondering what you can do to help them last for years to come. Unfortunately, photos won’t last long without proper care.
To learn more, keep reading to learn how to store old photos safely and effectively.
If you want to preserve old photos, first take them out of their photo albums. You might think that an album is the best way to protect family photos, but they’re often made of cardboard and glue, materials that can damage photos over time.
Instead, remove them from old albums, carefully label each one, and decide how you want to organize (such as by year or event).
Once you’ve grouped your photos how you want them, it’s ideal to store them in plastic sheets—just be sure to look for plastic that doesn’t contain PVC, as it can damage photos.
If you have hundreds of photos, another storage option is to layer them using sheets of acid-free paper in a photo storage box.
Humidity is no friend to old photos, so you don’t want to store them in hot or humid areas of your home. For this reason, attics, basements, and garages are best avoided, as they tend not to be climate-controlled very well and are also prone to leaks and flooding.
Instead, store them in a safe part of your home where they won’t be bothered by kids, pets, or leaky pipes.
Photo preservation companies like Topfoto know that digital copies are an important way to preserve vintage photos—you can do the same!
With a photo scanner, it’s easy to make digital copies of your older photos. You can retouch them this way, but it’s also helpful as a way of creating backups to the original.
It can be nice to frame some of your most treasured photos, as that way you can enjoy them every day. For older, delicate photos, it’s best to take them to a professional frame company, so they can be mounted and framed without risk of damage.
With the tips above, you can learn not only how to store old photos but also how to keep them safe and organized. It’s a good idea to put in the time now to care for your old photos, as that way they’ll last for generations to come.
If you’re ever in doubt of how to look after a vintage photo, a camera or framing store should be able to provide some guidance. Your grandchildren will thank you when they grow up and realize the effort you put into preserving beautiful family history.
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