Learn how to rescue and preserve your family photos for future generations.
Our ancestors didn’t live forever, but our pictures of them can. Well, maybe not forever, but a well-cared-for photograph can last many generations longer than the person who posed for it. The key is care. And despite genealogists’ love for our photos, we often don’t give them the care they need.
For starters, it’s not the passage of time that ages our photos—it’s what they’re stored in. “The containers you use for your photos can cause more of a problem than they solve,” says Sally Jacobs, the Practical Archivist
. “Acidic paper [like from cardboard boxes] will leach acids into whatever is in direct contact with it. Keep acidic paper away from your photos whenever possible. Sticky magnetic albums are in even more dire straits because the overlay is often made of an unstable material called polyvinyl chloride, or PVC.”