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Old 05-17-2009, 10:39 PM   #1
marlene
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Default Preserving old photos

I've been going through hundreds (if not thousands) of old family photos. Some are almost 100 years old.

They are in various states of disrepair, and I don't want them to get any worse. Right now they are in manila envelopes, Fedex envelopes, file folders, etc.

I don't know anything about archival materials, but I need find some way of organizing and storing the photos so they don't deteriorate any further.

Is there such a thing as clear pages (with pockets for individual photos) that would fit in a three-ring binder? In many cases I want to be able to see the backs of the photos, which sometimes have information about the photo (some of it's in Russian, but maybe someday I can get it translated).

Or are clear pages not a good thing for storing old photos?

I'm scanning some of them, but it's unlikely that I'll be able to scan all of them -- there are just way too many. So I would like to be able to store the in a way that I can look at them without having to handle them.

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Old 05-17-2009, 11:40 PM   #2
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You're right to be cautious about how to store them. This web site specialises in archival materials and should provide you with useful information. PEL is a UK company but their catalogue (download the pdf) would be a good source for ideas for products that you can then search for more locally.

The people on this forum should also be a good source for suggestions. They're a very knowledgeable bunch when it comes to preservation issues even if some of them are a bit sniffy about non-professionals. They can certainly advise and will be able to help you obtaining anything in the PEL catalogue.

   
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:38 AM   #3
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There are quite a few archival products out there. Light Impressions here in the states has a decent site that'll give you some ideas. They've been around a long time now; I must've bought from them at least 15/20 years ago.

Just make sure that whatever you order is in stock. I ordered a portfolio and extra pages from them; the pages came promptly, but the portfolio order dragged on forever; I finally canceled it. Other than the delay and lack of feedback about the order, they were easy to deal with. No argy about canceling the order, prompt credit on the extra postage/handling they'd already billed.

   
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:57 AM   #4
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So glad you asked that. I have two falling-apart albums and a bunch of other photos of my family, and boxes of photos of Jack’s that I couldn’t figure out what to do with.

One of the albums has fuzzy black paper with notes written by my mother in silver ink; I am sure the paper is definitely not archival quality, but then there are those notations that, perhaps, ought to be preserved The other has beige paper and little corner widgets, many of which have fallen off.

I have found that scanning faded photos finds the invisible stuff very nicely. If you scan in RGB, one of the layers will probably have a very good image. But like you, I could not face doing all of them.

Thanks for the leads, Mike and Steve.

   
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
marlene: Is there such a thing as clear pages (with pockets for individual photos) that would fit in a three-ring binder? In many cases I want to be able to see the backs of the photos, which sometimes have information about the photo (some of it's in Russian, but maybe someday I can get it translated).
I'd suggest taking a look at clearbags.com (I set the page in the link to display on "sort by size ascending" with 25/page--for same sort order, all ) for their "crytal clear" bags (they are acid and lignin free) as they have a wealth of different sized bags at reasonable prices.

I generally get their 5x7", 8x10" and 11X14" bags for my artwork. It can be a bit confusing to figure out which bags you may want from the wealth of bags they offer so here are the item numbers I order--just plug them into their search box:

1. 5x7": b7b1 and b7b2

2. 8x10": b108pc

3. 8.5x11": b811 or b811pc (sticky strip on the bag, not the flap)

4. 11x14": b11s or b11spc (spc=sticky strip is on the bag, not the flap)


You might also be interested in ordering their acid-free backing board which you could slip into the bags as a protective stiffener...

Hope that helps...

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