If a picture is worth a thousand words, then your family’s photo album must be akin to a genealogical encyclopedia. Images capture moments that don’t always last, and people who won’t always be around; their safekeeping must be handled with the utmost care to preserve such vital memories. Though it may seem easiest to keep them tucked away in a box in your attic, photographs are so delicate that damage can occur almost effortlessly. Fortunately, knowledge can equip you against such accidents. The three following facts about photographs will teach you how best to preserve for years to come.
- Liquid destroys everything. Paper is already a very fragile material. Add to that a few decades and a little bit of water, and it will fall completely apart. If your photos manage to survive the initial downpour, they may not stand up to the mold and mildew that is sure to follow. As a result, keep your family albums in a clean, dry space that is unlikely to experience flooding.
- Extreme temperatures are not good. In addition to the above, make sure your storage location isn’t exposed to direct sunlight or areas with high humidity. Temperatures should be moderate and humidity non-existent, if possible.
- Don’t touch! Fingerprints are very damaging to the delicate material of photographs and paper — it’s one of the reasons why historical documents are always handled with gloves. If wearing gloves to sort through your family’s history seems a little ridiculous, invest in a photo album binder with the right binder sleeves; you’ll be able to turn through the years without harming any of those dear old relatives.
With these facts in hand, you can store your photos safely so that future generations may benefit from your efforts. By utilizing acid-free photo envelopes and the right kind of binder sleeves, your archival photo binders will hold your memories so you don’t have to worry about them. Since archiving defines the process of storing information that is currently inactive — like that picture of your great great great uncle — your family’s history will be securely contained within your attic.