Keeping memories: How to save old photographs properly

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Keeping memories: How to save old photographs properly  12th February 2022


For decades, clicking photographs with a film camera was the only way to store memories. Today, we use smartphones to capture and save memories as videos and pictures. However, if you are from the 90s era or before, you must still have hundreds of pictures and photo films locked away in your cupboard or neatly tucked into photo albums.

While tossing out old clothes that we've outgrown may be easy, throwing out photographs is just too difficult. They hold countless memories in a single snapshot that you never want to let go of. You may even put up a few photographs in frames to hang up on the wall or place on your bedside.

However, over the years, you may notice them begin to degrade. Some get brown patches, some turn yellow, and some develop folds and creases around the corner. Therefore, it is essential to remember these tips to preserve old photographs properly.

1. Throw out the old photo albums:
Storing the old photographs in a box or folder does not ensure their protection. Using the usual peel-and-stick photo albums is not the best option for holding your photos. They are usually made of ordinary plastic, glue, and cardboard, which can harm the pictures in the long run. If you want to save them, look for ones free from acid. Avoid albums made with dyes and recycled materials.

2. Do not stick your photographs:
Exposing your photographs to any kind of glue or adhesives can harm their quality. The paper can tear or weaken due to the use of glue. Instead of sticking the photographs in books or albums, look for albums with paper sleeves or acid-free plastic sleeves.

3. Label wisely:
Future generations who inherit the photographs may need the context behind them and labelling them with thorough information can go a long way. However, while most of us might write using a permanent marker or a pen, the ink poses a threat of staining the photographs. Instead, use a pencil and write lightly around the edges to avoid damaging the centre of the image. If you are worried about lead smudging, avoid touching the parts you've written on.

4. Preserve in appropriate locations:
Collections of old photographs are delicate and need to be stored the right way. They need to be boxed in climate-controlled areas of your home that are not too cold, hot, or humid.
Moisture and heat can affect the paper quality and the print of the photograph. Therefore, keeping the albums in paper boxes is better than using plastic boxes. Place these boxes in a closet that is not prone to flooding or intense heat, sunlight, and moisture.

To sum it up, these few measures may help you preserve the quality of your photographs and maintain their shine over the years. To make sure you continue making memorable memories much like the ones you've saved in those photographs, invest in dependable general insurance plans to secure your family.

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Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.