Having to store photos can feel like a daunting thing, especially if they are older. Here are a few things to remember when packing up photographs:
Storing your photographs in a climate control unit is the best option. Being in a regulated unit will help prevent unwanted moisture from building up on your photographs.
Digitize / Digital Copies
While it is not required, it is a good practice to have digital copies of your photos. You can use a Smartphone to take images or have them scanned and transferred to digital format. This is done as a precaution since paper can, over time deteriorate. Having digital versions of your images on a thumb drive or CD / DVD will also give you back up copies for peace of mind.
Acid Free Paper / Proper Storage
Once you’ve decided to store your photographs you will need to take the proper precautions. Here are 3 quick tips to proper photo packing:
- Remove any paperclips, rubber bands, or non-acid free paper dividers. Doing so will help ensure the longevity of your photos.
- Use acid free paper, firm dividers that are also acid free, albums with acid-free sleeves, sheet protectors, or photo corners to separate stacks of photos. Ensure that they are stacked straight and flat. The flatter the better. Keep an eye out for plastic or paper materials that pass the Photographic Activity Test (PAT), should you decide to opt for plastic packing.
- Packing too many photos in one box can have the same effect as using a box that’s too small. Pick a box that fits just enough photos so that they don’t have wiggle room. Additionally if you have extra space, you can fill it with non-acidic tissue paper.
Placement in unit
Now that you have your photographs packed and secured, let’s talk about placement in your unit. Now, you don’t want them on the floor; nor do you want them under another box. This box should be placed somewhere on the top of your stacks. Allow for air to flow around the box, and make sure it is sitting flat. Otherwise all your packing precautions are for naught.
These tips will help ensure the longevity of your photographs. Good luck with the packing and be sure to check out our other posts for things such as: