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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Why You Need to Digitize Photos and Preserve Them for Future Generations

digitize photosWhy and How to Digitize Photos For Future Generations. It’s This Easy


As technology continues to advance, the way in which we preserve our history is also changing. From cave drawings to oil paintings and from print photos to Snapchat selfies, it’s important for us to now digitize photos in order to keep them safe for future generations.

 

But if you need a few reasons why it’s important to digitize photos before it’s too late, then consider the following:



Print photos will eventually succumb to the elements

 

Unless you have your print photos stored in acid-free, archival-quality storage containers and kept in a temperature-controlled room away from sunlight, then your photos are at risk of getting destroyed by the elements. Of course, we definitely recommend doing everything you can to keep your print photos safe, but digitizing them is the only way to truly protect them from the elements.

 


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Prepare for the Worst, Expect the Best: Observing National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness MonthWe’re in the business of preservation, so when National Preparedness Month rolls around each September, we take it very seriously. Disaster can strike anywhere, at any time, and for no reason whatsoever—but we can make sure we’re prepared.


Sponsored by FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, National Preparedness Month was started to encourage everyone to be proactive in our approach to disasters. In fact, each week of September has its own theme:



  • September 1-5: Flood
  • September 6-12: Wildfire
  • September 13-19: Hurricane
  • September 20-26: Power outage
  • September 27-30: Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day (September 30th)

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Memorial Day: Remember Our Military Family With Photos

Military Photo Memorial Day

The author’s grandfather and grandmother on their wedding day, late 1930s, Missouri

By Vanessa Mallory Kotz

 

I come from a military family, all Air Force, four generations worth. My grandfather, William Mallory, made a lifetime career of it. I don’t remember him talking about his rank or daily tasks, but I’ll never forget the stories he told of taking over as pilot on some missions because his brothers in arms had partied a little too hard the night before. It was their little secret. His buddies knew they could always rely on Bill to complete the mission and bring them home safe. He served during WWII in Paris. As a child, I was told his job was to help free the Jews and all people oppressed by Hitler, a very bad man. Only as an adult do I understand what that meant, and I do so with pride.

 

 

Both his sons served during the Vietnam War, enlisting as soon as they were old enough. My uncle was older and sent to the front lines where he worked as an aircraft mechanic. During a raid at the air field a Vietnamese man rushed him, and my uncle was forced to shoot to save his own life. When he looked at the lifeless body of his would-be-assassin, he realized it was his barber from the village. A man he was friendly with and fond of. It was his only kill. Well into his 70s, my uncle still dreams about this man. He’s sure that the Vietnamese solider didn’t recognize him in the heat of battle. So the story goes.

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