View Full Version : How do you sort and preserve your old photos?

17-11-2008, 1:21 PM
I've tried different ways of sorting mine over the years, but nothing is very satisfactory. I tried putting them in an acid/lignin/pvc-free album then no sooner done than I finally got a decent scanner and had to take them out again.

Some of the photos are in albums which were put together as gifts for other people and which I have now inherited, some are glued into sugar-paper scrapbooks (those are not technically mine so they must remain as they are for now). Many are loose - especially the very old cardboard ones and the very small ones from the 1930s. There are photos of groups, pairs and individuals and I jsut can't decide how to sort them.

I would like to purchase some archival boxes to put the loose ones in, but as they're expensive I'd rather not buy too many. Any suggestions? What do you do with the hordes of photos where you recognise no-one? Where do you store your photographic archives and original old documents?

Marie C..
17-11-2008, 1:58 PM
Certs are in a polythene envelope thing under a chest, photos are in biscuit tins, wooden boxes, cardboard shoe boxes, loose in drawers, some still in old albums in drawers etc. (Those in loft got chewed by mice so do not put them in cases in loft as mice get in anywhere.)
It depends how many you have, what time you have and space.
Best to leave old albums as they are if possible.
Once you start messing about with them they can disintegrate or become dis-ordered.
Photos that have stayed good for a hundred years in a box should be good for another hundred. Write in pencil on the back of loose ones once you have some info about them.
Those needing to be removed from an album should be replaced in good quality album using special corner things. Do not stick or glue anything to anything. Try and keep them all in the one place/ chest of drawers or old trunk.
(from one who cannot afford acid free stuff) M

17-11-2008, 3:24 PM
Thats pretty much how I have mine already, but I'm thinking I should splash out on a couple of archival boxes. I need to sort them in some way so I can find the ones I'm looking for. After all, what's the point of having them if no-one ever gets to see them?
I might invest in some transparent mylar envelopes to store the larger, cardboard pictures - that might be the best start. Then put all those in one box, regardless of which family they belong to. It helps to remember where the photographs came from so I don't try to put a name from one family on to a photo that belonged to another!

17-11-2008, 4:33 PM
I store mine in the filing cabinet, they do have labels with them; I do need to put them into a proper archival album. What I have done is to to copy them and put them in a photo frame and also with the certificates. I have also shared copies with relatives that I have met via Genes.

Jenni :D

Marie C..
17-11-2008, 4:39 PM
I like the sound of the mylar envelopes if they will keep things well and are not too pricey but then you still have to ruffle all through all the envelopes to find a particular one. What about box files with partitions then you can label them as you wish and put the mylar-enveloped photos inside. But where then does one put all these box files?
A self-storage company (banana-coloured) had some quite nice cardboard archival boxes for sale I noticed.

Perhaps it's best to use the best ones (photos) and keep the unknown and less good ones in a big box marked "unknown but do not throw away".
Or you could splash out on nice new acid free etc albums and transfer the good photos to these. At least they'd be safe for another 100 years.
Keep all originals as poor ones can be touched up these days and scanned photos and digital photos are as yet an unknown as regards keeping properties.
How do other people store theirs? M