Preservation Storage for Photographs (Video)

General preservation guidelines outlined in this video

  1. Only archival (chemically safe) materials, such as acid free folders, boxes, etc., should be used for housings. If you are unsure about the chemical composition of materials consult a conservator. 
  2. Photographs require housings made of materials that have passed the PAT (Photographic Activity Test)
  3. Photographs should not be stored against other photographs.
  4. Photographs may be stored in clear archival sleeves, in individual folders, or multiple photographs may be stored in the same folder if interleaved with appropriate barrier paper.
    1. Clear archival photograph sleeves and storage pages are appropriate for the following photograph types:
    2. When storing photographs in sleeves, store only one photograph per section to allow viewing of the reverse side of the photograph. This minimizes risk by eliminating the need to remove the photograph from the sleeve.
    3. When storing photographs in a folder, ensure the folder is larger than the photograph.
    4. When using barrier paper, the paper should be the same size as the folder.
  5. Folders should be large enough to fill the box.
  6. Folders should not be smaller than the box. If the folder is smaller than the box, either the folder should be placed in a smaller box or the item within the folder should be placed in a larger folder.
  7. Avoid stacking and overcrowding photographs on shelves or in boxes as this can cause physical damage such as chafing, crushing, tearing, and even chemical damage.
  8. Photographs may also be encapsulated. Encapsulation can be used not only to protect a valuable item but also to protect surrounding items from detrimental effects of chemical damage.
  9. Certain kinds of photographs may require different kinds of housings. Glass plate negatives and Ambrotypes should be stored in four-flap enclosures or boxes specially made to store glass plate photographs.
  10. Photo albums may be stored as books.

For more videos like this, go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ Church History page.

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