Are your precious family photographs crammed into boxes or envelopes, or placed in sticky-leaf albums in a hot and damp, mouldy cupboard? If that is the case, here are some suggestions for saving and preserving your family history.

Store and display your prints using archival, acid free framing, or in acid free archival photo albums.

Store printed photos in archival print boxes, and keep prints dry, and away from excessive heat and light. An easy way to store your pictures is on edge in good bond envelopes, keeping the image side of the photo away from the glued seams, sort by size and place in stiff, non-brown boxes. Writing a brief description on the envelope, before you insert the photo to avoid embossing, will help you retrieve them quickly.

Photographs and slides, especially, are particularly susceptible to mould
damage, so it is important to store them in the part of your house that has low humidity and a consistent median heat.

Photographic prints that are handled will deteriorate sooner; have an extra set to pass around and keep a second set in your album.

Avoid photo albums that have self sticking sleeves, the adhesive deteriorates the photos in a matter of years and you increase the chance of ripping the photos when you want to remove them. The best way to mount photos in an album is with photo corners. Only use albums that are acid free with tissue sheets between each page. These types of albums require your photos to be mounted using photo corners and acid free removable tabs.

Make Copies: Important and unique family pictures should be backed up
either with a good copy negative, or scanned as digital file and burnt to disc.

What will be left for your grandchildren of the digital images and videotapes you made on your last vacation? Migrating digital and other electronic images to new platforms as they develop is a good way to make sure the idea of the “family album” doesn't’t disappear. Also, scanning your old family photos should not be thought of as a substitute for taking care of the original photographs, these photos are your best chance of preserving the past for
the future.

COMPLETE PHOTO RESTORERS -First Aide/Preventative Supplies:
1 Silica Gel - COMPLETE PHOTO RESTORERS are suppliers of 3mm Silica Gel Coloured Beads. Moisture absorbing Beads. (Place the Silica Gel in a perforated clip-seal bag and put into an air tight container. This will remove the moisture and prevent mould from being able to grow). Mould growth is one of the most common and destructive causes of photo damage. These blue beads have a colour indicating character which lets you know when they are no longer capable of absorbing moisture. As the beads absorb moisture, they change from a strong blue to a translucent pink tint. At this point, you need to tip the beads into a shallow baking tray lined with alfoil and place into an oven at approx 130 degrees C, until they go back to their original vivid blue colour. Turn off oven and allow them to cool completely before removing. Silica gel is also a fantastic mould preventative first aide for camera lenses/electronic equipment/shoe/leather products etc.

2 Mould Inhibiting Crystals – fumigation/treatment.

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Complete Photo Restorers heading Photo First Aid Graphic