6 Tips to Preserve Old Photos for Future Generations to Enjoy

Preserve Old Photos The most popular method for storing old photos is one of the most damaging. That’s right, stuffing a box with photos, negatives, and/or slides and packing it away in the basement is like turning your memories into a ticking time bomb.

 

If you want to keep your photos safe from disaster and away from the ravages of time, then it’s time to properly store them. The following tips will help you preserve old photos so that they will be around for many years to come.

Use care when handling

 

It’s highly recommended to use cotton gloves when handling photos. There are unseen oils and dirt on our hands that could do some serious damage to prints over time. If you can’t use gloves, then delicately handle the photos at the edges when moving them around.

 

You should also keep your preservation project in an area that’s neat and clean, and away from damaging lights, extreme temperatures or humidity, smoke, foods or liquids. Imagine you’re an archivist handling ancient and precious materials—photos require that same kind of delicacy. While you may not see the damage right away, improper handling can wreak havoc on your photos over time.

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Save 50% On Photo Scanning During Refer-A-Friend Month

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Refer-A-Friend Month at ScanMyPhotos

Welcome. Save 50%* this month to digitize your pictures. If you are a prior customer, nobody knows our story better than you.


Before ordering, read what CNET just wrote about ScanMyPhotos in this raving, detailed review.


Your shared experience with others will help many preserve their lifetime of pictures during Refer-A-Friend Month.


Your friends will love you, even more, when you share this 50% discount so they too can easily have their pictures scanned and save big.


CLICK TO ORDER
Save 50%* With This Promo Code At Checkout: “Pogue10”



In the movie Field of Dreams, a mysterious voice tells Kevin Costner: “If you build it, they will come.” Well, maybe for baseball fields but not for helping to digitize pictures. Too many procrastinate. Will you help encourage others to protect their lifetime of pictures? We designed today’s 50%* discount to be widely shared.

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8 Ways to Fix Water Damaged Photos – Don’t Panic!

Water damage from Hurricane Florence? Don’t panic!

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One of the most common photo restoration requests we get is to fix one form or another of water damage. Whether it’s from a natural disaster, humidity or more severe contact with water, water damage brings us a lot of photo restoration business. We’d prefer to keep your family photos intact in the first place.



Whether your house was flooded or caught fire, your prized photos have probably suffered from water damage. The first rule of handling water-damaged photos? Don’t Panic! You may be able to salvage many or all of your pictures. You might want to contact a photo conservation professional or consult a book on the subject, but here are a few tips:




8 tips for restoring water damaged photos


  • Don’t let the photos dry out! As your photographs dry, they will stick to each other and any other materials they may be in contact with. You’ll find it impossible to pull them apart without causing potentially irreparable damage.

  • Get to work as soon as possible. Your photographs shouldn’t stay wet for more than two or three days. Now is a good time to recommend having a friend (or photo restoration expert) scan the images before you try pulling anything apart or before doing anything that will further damage the photos.

  • While you’re working on your photos, store them in a container full of cold, clean tap water; the colder the better. Don’t add chlorine to the water, but change the water every day. The chlorine in tap water is enough to prevent the growth of fungi and other biological threats.

  • Rinse your photos in a container of cold, clear running water. Don’t run the water directly onto the photos, because that could damage the chemical emulsion, causing permanent damage. Keep rinsing them until the run-off water is clear.


  • Carefully remove your photographs or negatives from the water, taking the smallest quantity possible. Pull them out of their wrappers and gently separate them. DO NOT FORCE THEM APART. Separate as many as possible before returning them to the cold water and starting on another batch. Repeat the separate-soak cycle as many times as necessary. However, sometimes you may not be able to separate materials without forcing the issue. In those cases you will probably have to just accept the corresponding damage.

  • Once your materials are separated, store them in water until you can wash them individually, using cold, clean running water. Use cotton balls, a soft cotton cloth or a soft foam rubber brush to remove foreign objects if needed. Rinse your photographs or negatives one more time after cleaning is complete.

  • Hang-dry prints and negatives from a clothesline. Make sure they will not be exposed to dust. As an option, special solutions are available that facilitate uniform, spot-free drying when applied to negatives and slides.

  • If your prints curl while drying, wet the paper side (NOT the emulsion!) with a moist sponge and place each one between two pieces of acid-free paper or photo blotters, and leave them under a flat, heavy object for a day or two.

You can also learn more about modern photo restoration in our next article, “When Disaster Strikes.”



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The Best Ways to Store Printed Photos

Art WallAll of you ScanMyPhotos fans know that the best way to preserve photos is by photo scanning.


Scan printed photos once, and you have digital copies that can be easily reproduced and shared at any time. But what about all of those printed photos you still have?


You might as well store and display them in a way that will preserve them – after all, they are the originals and you can still enjoy them while they are in good shape.



I did a little research to find the best ways to store and display printed photos, and here’s what I found (thank you National Archives!):


Use a mat when framing photos


Ever have a framed photo stick to the glass? This a very common occurrence, and it happens when the humidity gets into the frame. Unfortunately, it’s not always fixable (though a photo conservationist might be able to help). When you frame photos, use an archival quality photo-safe mat, which will add space between the glass and the photo.


Choose a cool, dry place for storage


Store your photos in the coolest and driest spot in your home, as dampness causes photos to stick together (and promotes mold growth on them – yuck!). It goes without saying that your finished basement is out unless it is dehumidified. Instead, choose a closet where an upper-level temperature stays pretty constant and cool throughout the year.

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