How do I preserve and archive my printed photos ? 


  1. If you have any old traditional film negatives or slides that you want to preserve and keep for as long as possible get duplicates made and store in correct acid free sheeting in a dark dry area.
  2. Print digital archival quality photos and store them correctly. Storing all your precious photos on digital format only is risky because most information stored on the internet, a computer hard drive, external hard drive, CD Rom etc. is proving now not to always be the most reliable way of storing information over a long period of time. If you have too many photos to Archive as prints and you just don’t have the space to keep albums that clutter your space then you must store all your photo data on multiple external storage devices.
  3. Only print your photos on long lasting Archival quality photo papers and use inks that are pigment based not dyes.  According to a print permanent expert Henry Wilhelm who runs an independent testing service and subjects printing material to various conditions concluded in a study that dye inks don’t last as long as pigment based inks and that it’s best to find a printer that uses pigment inks. On some manufactures brands it is unclear if the inks are dye or pigment. Wilhelm also concluded that the preservation of photos is also very much dependent on how prints are stored even if printed on the best quality materials.
  4. Storing photos in frames has proved to last half as long as storing them in an album. Most paper and ink manufacturers will suggest along with product information to store away from sunlight and damp environments. If you want to display your photos in a frame make sure you have a good quality copy stored away in an album.
  5. Only store and archive your photographs in an acid free photo album using acid free corner tags to hold the photo. Only purchase albums that claim they are acid free. Acid free means that the paper used to support the photos has a certain PH level (a certain standard for measuring acid and alkalinity) and does not affect the paper and ink over a long course of time. Acid free paper products have a PH factor of  7 or above.
  6. Always store your albums away in dark cool place away from sunlight, damp, mold, insects, harsh chemicals etc.

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