Sunday, December 1, 2013

Conserving your photos, negatives and slides – getting the right stuff!

One of the problems with photos and documents is they deteriorate over time, and that’s why we digitise and scan as this captures the image/document in its current state. I often get asked how to deal with storing the family documents and photographs. 
It is best to avoid touching negatives, slides and photos with your fingers unless you handle them with tweezers or cotton gloves or round their edges as the oil from your fingers can damage these images.

 Storing images
Good old black photograph albums are not a bad start, at least they keep the photos out of the light.  Ideally though it is best to use properly designed storage containers made from materials that will not react with your images further.  Some images and documents require neutral pH others require calcium buffered containers, so it is best to seek advice about the specific requirements for your images and documents. Google is your friend for finding out the most up to date information and advice for storing your images.

Negatives stored in purpose designed archival pages
In New Zealand I get my storage materials from either:

Port Nicholson Packaging in Petone Wellington who stock the Australian archival Museum storage systems

or Conservation Supplies

Both these places have excellent information about the materials they have on offer on their websites and offer online ordering and delivery.

The National Library  has information about storing family collections including documents and photo's.

There is also information in this handy pdf produced by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
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