Picking a Photo Album That’s for Keeps

Picking a Photo Album That’s for Keeps

Your family photo album can turn into a preservation nightmare. The migration from newsprint can cause stained faces, adhesive bleed-through can wreck images, and whole albums can be destroyed by plastic deterioration. For an album that will protect, not harm, your photographs. Choose: Acid-free paper and mounting corners Plastics such...

Your family photo album can turn into a preservation nightmare. The migration from newsprint can cause stained faces, adhesive bleed-through can wreck images, and whole albums can be destroyed by plastic deterioration. For an album that will protect, not harm, your photographs.

Choose:

  • Acid-free paper and mounting corners
  • Plastics such as polyester, polypropylene, polyethylene and cellulose acetate pages.

Avoid:

  • Adhesive or self-stick pages (sometimes called “magnetic pages”)
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic
  • Heat-sealed polypropylene
  • Low-density polyethylene
  • Low-quality acidic paper

Use archival photo mounts, not glue or paste, to attach photographs to paper pages. Purchase archival-quality albums and storage materials from reputable suppliers. For example:

  • Light Impressions (www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/) offers archival-quality storage, mounting and framing supplies. Call (800) 828-6216 for a free catalog.
  • The Attic (www.atticalbums.com/theattic/recread.html) sells books on scrapbooking and memory albums, in addition to allowing customers to design albums by choosing covers and pages of acid-free materials.
  • Hallmark is for those who prefer shopping in person at stores nationwide. Under “Features and Ideas: Scrapbooking” on Hallmark’s Web site (www.hallmark.com) they promise their scrapbooking products are acid-free, lignin-free and PVC-free.
  • Webway albums (www.shopwebway.com) carry the recommendation of preservation expert Henry Wilhelm.

For 12 tips to make sure your precious family photos are safe for the next generation to enjoy, see the premiere issue of Family Tree Magazine.

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