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History, Conservation, and Repair The history of photographic prints, and how best to care for and repair them.

Storing Photos

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Old 08-12-2001, 05:07 PM
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akj akj is offline
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Storing Photos

OK, we all now how important it is to properly store photos. I guess I have a silly question--How do you properly store them? Are there certain storage methods that are better than others? Should all photos be seperated as opposed to sticking together in the traditional packages you get from CVS and Rite Aid? If you put them in albums, what kind of albums are best? And then--what about negatives?

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Old 08-12-2001, 06:56 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Hi Amanda,

Silly? If you have a business doing restorations, and a customer asks you how they should store their photographic items, and you tell them you don't know -- well, you probably wouldn't give them the best impression of your qualifications. But since I don't have a business, I don't have to worry about that .

It's funny that you posted this question today. I was just re-reading a book I've had for a while on the conservation of photographs. Basically it says to store them individually in paper or plastic enclosures that are archivally fit for photographic materials. If paper, it should be chemically stable, and have a slightly rough or matte surface to resist sticking to the film/print. B&W and color enclosures differ slightly from each other in content. There is too much information in the book to list everything (it gets pretty technical). High humidity and high temperatures are to be avoided. If you would like to read the book, you can probably get it from the library. It is a Kodak book by the title of "Conservation of Photographs". This book is for those who want to the best job possible of storing the photographic materials. Hope this helps a little.

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Old 08-12-2001, 07:01 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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That's a great book! I read it so many years ago that my own copy is long lost, but it made a big impression on me.

A company I have great respect for, and that will solve any possible storage problems (for a price) is Light Impressions. They have so many products and tips it's easier to just request their print catalog.

Last edited by Doug Nelson; 08-13-2001 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 08-20-2001, 11:14 PM
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thomasgeorge thomasgeorge is offline
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Akj, Another good book from Light Impressions,at least I think thats where I got it, is "Care and Identification of 19th century Photographic Prints" by James M. Reilly. It details the history of photography from salt paper prints to present day types although the focus is on the 19th century photographic print(like the title says). It contains a wealth of information on identification of prints, types and causes of deterioration, the "Why" of the deterioration seen on old prints, storage and care of old photos plus the book is well appointed with period photo examples of the types of photos and what the damage the author discusses looks like. While its overt value to digital retouching is probably not great, as a source of information about the prints one encounters it is a jewel. For example that old photo someone brings in to have "restored" because even though it is in great overall condition ,it has a decidedly blue cast to it, might just be a cyanotype from the 1880 -1920 or so era, These prints are SUPPOST to be blue and usually remain in good shape despite the passing of decades,or even a century. Tom
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