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Tips for Preserving Photographs

  • Protect photos from light by placing them in acid free folders, sleeves and boxes
  • Keep liquids away to prevent spills and stains
  • Keep hands clean to avoid stains
  • Do not use staples, paperclips, tape or glue
  • Protect it from light by placing it in acid free folders and boxes
  • Do not store in wooden drawers or cardboard boxes. Store documents flat instead of rolled or folded
  • Make a copy to use for research or display and keep the original in proper storage
  • Keep storage areas clean to avoid attracting insects and rodents
  • Be aware that many commercially available photo albums contain acidic paper, harmful plastics and adhesives. Avoid laminated photo albums
  • Avoid buffered tissue paper and plastic sleeves that contain polyvinylchloride (PVC)

Source: Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, Handling Paper Artifacts.

A torn photo showing the inauguration of the first A.M.E. church in Los Angeles, circa 1898

Inauguration of the first A.M.E. church in Los Angeles, circa 1898