Collection Care - Photographs

Photograph Preservation

Photographs are often the most cherished materials in family collections. Simple precautions will insure these images will be passed on to future generation.


Preservation Tips.....
  • Wear cotton gloves when handling photographs or negatives.

  • Store prints and negatives separately.

  • Store black & white photos and color photos separately.

  • Always label or index your photos. You may recognize the images, others may not.

  • Make reprints, photocopies, color copies, or scans and store the original photo.

  • Avoid careless handling which will cause abrasions, tears, or breakage.

  • Light damage (UV or Sun) is cumulative and irreversible.

  • Keep photos in acid free/ archival quality containers (similar to paper).

  • As much as possible, control the temperature and relative humidity of the storage area.

  • Avoid damp basements or steamy attics.

  • Write on the back of photos with soft lead or stabilo pencil (no pen!!)

  • Avoid adhesives on photographs such as self-adhesive tape and rubber cement