Treasured family photographs will last for generations if they are handled properly. Here are some tips on how to preserve your photographs:
- Storage areas should have a relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent and a constant temperature no higher than 70°F. (Basements, attics, and garages are not suitable.)
- To minimize fading, limit exposure to light, including photocopying.
- Keep photographs where pests such as mice, silverfish, and termites can not have access.
- The best containers and albums are either acid-free or of archival quality; cardboard, wood, and plastic containers emit gases that are potentially harmful to photos.
- Use only polypropylene or polyester plastic sleeves; avoid polyethylene.
- Avoid acid-containing or gummed paper folders or envelopes, such as those made from brown kraft paper, which can stain images.
- Do not bind photographs with rubber bands or paper clips, which may cause stains or indentations.
- Handle photographs by the edges and wear white cotton gloves.
A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.
–Eudora Welty, American writer (1909–2001)