How do you preserve old photos in an album?

All of our photo albums and photograph storage pages are suitable to preserve old photos. The storage of photographs is incredibly complex (we discuss photograph preservation at length on our blog here) and we always suggest speaking to a trained conservator when working with valued, or fragile prints.

The key points to look out for in a photo album and photo album page are:

  • Is the album or album page 'Acid-Free'? Acid is inherent in standard paper pulp, and some plastics. Acid will accelerate the degradation of the photograph, causing it to discolour and eventually break down. You cannot preserve a photograph in an acidic environment.
  • Avoid PVC PVC plastics become brittle, yellow and acidic as they age. Polyester and Polyethylene are the two types of plastic which are considered safe for preservation of photographs on paper. Any photo album pages on our site are made from these materials.
  • PAT? PAT passed materials have been tested to prove that they are safe for long term storage of photographic materials. Other materials may meet the specifications of the PAT test, but may not have been tested, the PAT test is a convenient way of finding safe products, you'll find them marked on our site.
  • Clear? Cheaper plastic pockets are unlikely to offer the same levels of support or clarity that higher grade album pages do.

    Print File print preservers are perfect for photographic collections. They are acid-free, PAT passed, and come in a wide variety of sizes to suit most photographs. The multi hole edges allow them to be placed in most binders. We recommend our Library binder box for large collections. See products in 'Recommended' section below.

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