Storing old photos

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Doctor J. Frink, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Hullo,

    The better half has tasked me with archiving some old family photos. By
    old I mean late 19th century through to mid 20th. Scanning them isn't a
    problem (apart from being time-consuming) but I'm concerned about long
    term storage.

    They are mostly loose atm, in a cardboard box. Some have previously been
    glued to cardboard backing for display (since mostly ripped off in what
    can only be called vandalism in my eyes). Is there any way of knowing if
    this adhesive is going to damage them?

    It was my intention to store them in an air-tight, opaque container,
    somewhere cool. I also thought I might pop in a sachet of silica gel to
    keep humidity down. Would that be good or bad for the photos (ie can it
    be too dry)?

    Doctor J. Frink, Jan 31, 2006
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  2. Doctor J. Frink

    Mark Dunn Guest

    If they're in reasonable condition now, they've survived a century which
    isn't too bad. A stable temperature below about 70F is more important than a
    low one, and if they're too dry they'll become brittle, so forget the
    chemicals. Mine are kept in an old cardboard suitcase and the 1880's cartes
    de visite are fine. I've put them in clearface bags (not archival) to
    protect them physically. You could go for archival boxes and separate them
    with tissue. Trying to get rid of the glue might be risky. Just protect them
    from damp and extremes of temperature; the garage, maybe, or an unheated
    room. Not the attic. And identify them properly now. Maybe there's a granny
    who can help. I just used a soft, blunt pencil on the back.
    Mark Dunn, Jan 31, 2006
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  3. Doctor J. Frink

    Trev Guest

    If it has not by now I doubt it ever will. Its these modern paper card and
    glue that contain acids and bleaches
    Trev, Jan 31, 2006
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