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Storing Photographs

Martha Stewart Living Television

Did you know that the most popular method for storing photographs, those magnetic and self-adhesive albums, can also be the worst way of preserving them? Adhesive and plastic sleeves can corrode sensitive photographic paper. Archivist Alan Galowitz has other suggestions about ways to store photographs.

Martha sought Galowitz's expertise in maintaining a collection of old family photographs. His recommendations include:

  • Sliding rare photographs into polypropylene sleeves, stiffened with acid-free cardboard, and storing them in special envelopes.

  • Photo albums with acid-free paper and polypropylene overlays.

  • Storing a collection in acid-free archival boxes.

  • Encapsulation in UV-blocking Plexiglas.

  • Mounting photographs on acid-free conservation mats, which have a plastic overlay.

  • Storing images on a CD-ROM desk and reprinting them on quality paper with the help of professional processor. Many of Galowitz's clients build these CD-ROMs into the frames of restored photographs; the CD-ROMs become accessible time capsules.

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